LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - African Nations Cup hosts Gabon restored Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong to their squad as they became the first country to name their final 23-man selection for next month’s finals. Ndong was kicked out last month after skipping training ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Mali but was named on Tuesday to take part in the Jan. 14 to Feb. 5 tournament.
Gabon, who play the opening game against Guinea Bissau in Libreville, go into the finals having changed their coach. Former Spain manager Jose Antonio Camacho signed earlier this month to replace ex-Portugal international Jorge Costa.
Gabon’s attack will be spearheaded by African Footballer of the year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is one of 15 players retained from the last Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea two years ago when Gabon failed to get past the first round.
Squad: Goalkeepers: Stephane Bitseki (CF Mounana), Anthony Mfa Mezui (unattached), Didier Ovono (Oostende) Defenders: Aaron Appindangoye (Laval), Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff City), Johann Obiang (Troyes), Lloyd Palun (Red Star), Franck Perrin Obambou (Stade Mandji), Yoann Wachter (Sedan), Benjamin Ze Ondo (Mosta) Midfielders: Guelor Kanga Kaku (Red Star Belgrade), Mario Lemina (Juventus), Levy Madinda (Gimnastic Tarragona), Junior Serge Martinsson Ngouali (Brommapojkarna), Samson Mbingui (Raja Casablanca), Didier Ndong (Sunderland), Andre Poko (Karabukspor), Merlin Tandjigora (Meizhou Hakka) Forwards: Serge Aboue (Uniao Leiria), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Denis Bouanga (Tours), Malick Evouna (Tianjin Teda), Cedric Ondo Biyoghe (CF Mounana)
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris