African Cup of Nations: Doubts over Ghana's Asamoah Gyan after he is diagnosed with malaria

The Ghana Football Association said Gyan was taken to hospital on Saturday night, but released yesterday morning

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The Independent Football

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan has been diagnosed with malaria at the African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and admitted to a hospital in the remote eastern town of Mongomo.

The Ghana Football Association said Gyan was taken to hospital on Saturday night, but released yesterday morning with what it described as “a mild bout” of malaria.

“The illness was detected at an early stage and Gyan is responding well to treatment,” the GFA said in a statement. However, the striker is now doubtful for Ghana’s first game against Senegal today, and he will be monitored by doctors after being released from hospital, having been unable to train for two days.

Tournament favourites Algeria face a tricky challenge at the start of their campaign today against an up-and- coming South Africa in Mongomo in the heat and humidity of the jungle.

The Algerians are tipped by many as favourites to win the title after their impressive World Cup performance in Brazil last year. But the unpredictable African Cup is a different proposition to Fifa’s slick showpiece tournament, even more so after Algeria were drawn to play two of their games in Mongomo, one of two small host towns in this remote and climatically challenging part of Equatorial Guinea.

Algeria face heat, dripping humidity and other logistical challenges – like an hour-plus drive to their training base in Oyala, a city being built in the middle of the rainforest to be the nation’s new capital.

Also, coach Christian Gourcuff’s Algeria are in Group C, probably the toughest in the tournament, containing difficult West African opposition in Ghana and Senegal as well as South Africa.

“It’s going to be difficult for sure,” midfielder Medhi Lacen said. “We have a team of great quality but we must remember the African Cup is not the World Cup. It’s much more physical and we have to be ready for that.”

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