Cameroon forward Diederrick Joel Tagueu has been ruled out of the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, just a day to commencement of the Indomitable Lions' campaign.
The 25-year-old frontman, on the books of Portuguese club Maritimo, is set to miss the biennial showpiece after being diagnosed with a heart condition.
It is a huge blow to his hopes of playing at the Afcon finals for the first time, after netting eight times in 30 league appearances of which 24 starts were starts for his club last season.
The #IndomitableLions team's doctor, Prof William Ngatchou has just detected an anomaly of an implantation of a coronary artery suspected in Qatar and confirmed on Egypt, with a risk of sudden death on the pitch@CAF_Online #TotalAFCON2019— Fecafoot-Officiel (@FecafootOfficie) June 24, 2019
The news of Joel Tagueu's departure from the camp was received with sadness in the camp. The staff and players couldn't hold their tears. An appeal has been filed to CAF for his eventual replacement.@Caf_online_FR #TotalAFCON2019— Fecafoot-Officiel (@FecafootOfficie) June 24, 2019
#TOTALAFCON2019#EGYPT2019#Ismaila, June 24, 2019.— Fecafoot-Officiel (@FecafootOfficie) June 24, 2019
Bad news in the #IndomitableLions camp. Joel Tagueu, selected amongst the 23 lions for the #TOTALAFCON2019 in #Egypt will not be able to take part in the competition.@CAF_Online_FR #TotalAFCON2019
Clarence Seedorf's squad has consequently been reduced to 22 players amid reports that the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) have written to continental football's governing body Caf to call up a replacement.
The Lions are billed to face Guinea-Bissau in their opening game at the Ismailia Stadium on Tuesday, four days before taking on four-time champions Ghana.
They then square off against Benin in their final match of the group series on July 2.
Five-time champions Cameroon are hoping to defend the title they won in Gabon in 2017.