Ivory Coast lose first-choice goalkeeper Gbohouo to doping ban


The Ivorian Football Federation revealed the news of the ban imposed by FIFA on Tuesday, 24 hours before the Elephants face Equatorial Guinea in their opening game in the Cameroonian city of Douala.

“FIFA can confirm that its Disciplinary Committee has provisionally suspended Sylvain Gbohouo for doping,” a spokesman for world football’s governing body told AFP.

The 33-year-old has started all six matches in the group stage of Africa’s World Cup qualifiers this year, the most recent of which was a decisive 1-0 defeat at Cameroon in November.

He was their first-choice goalkeeper in the 2019 Nations Cup and appeared in every game in the final when Ivory Coast won the continental title in 2015.

“He tested positive after the game here two months ago and we appealed immediately,” French Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle told a news conference in Douala.

Beaumelle revealed he had asked Gbohouo to see an optician as he struggled to deal with long balls, and the keeper was then prescribed treatment.

“That was the end of it, but then he tested positive in November, although they couldn’t find out which drug was the cause.

“We all support him. He trained alone, didn’t sleep or eat and lost weight.

“We were hoping for a positive result but I found out last night that FIFA were upholding the ban and we had 20 days to appeal, which we did.”


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