Bournemouth's Benik Afobe turns down Africa Cup of Nations selection

Striker wants to concentrate on club form

BY Raf Diallo 13:20 Monday 2 January 2017, 13:20 2 Jan 2017

Benik Afobe. Picture by John Walton EMPICS Sport

Benik Afobe has pulled out of the Africa Cup of Nations to try and become a first-team regular at Bournemouth.

The striker was named in the Democratic Republic of Congo's provisional squad for the tournament.

Afobe switched allegiance last March having played for England's under-21s.

But he is yet to make his senior international debut after the English Football Association sent his paperwork to the wrong Congo back in November.

With the FA sending his paperwork to the Republic of Congo rather than the DR Congo, it meant he was ineligible for an away match against Guinea, even though he had traveled over for the game.

"Basically, the FA sent my paperwork to the wrong Congo. Transferring it took about 10 days and once Fifa had cleared their workload with all the internationals on around the world, it was the day after the World Cup qualifier against Guinea," he had explained at the time.

Arsenal youth graduate Afobe has scored two league goals for Bournemouth this season, scoring the opening goal in the 3-0 victory over Swansea City on New Year's Eve.

He also found the net in a 3-2 defeat to Burnley on December 10th.

Bournemouth started the turn of the New Year up in 10th place in the Premier League table and face Afobe's boyhood club Arsenal on January 3rd in their next fixture.

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