BY KUNLE SOLAJA
As the Round of 16 begins this Sunday, two of the 16 teams are already weighed down by positive COVID-19 cases.
These are Tunisia who face Nigeria on Sunday and the Cinderela in the pack, Comoros Islands.
The former are reported to have close to 12 positive cases in their camp, including the head coach. However, some players are also believed to have recovered.
It is even worse for Comoros whose two goalkeepers have tested positive while the third, who was originally the main goalkeeper is injured.
That has left the team without any goalkeeper, raising technical issues about the game. Apart from the two remaining goalkeepers, 10 other players are also positive with Covid-19.
That not withstanding, the match will Cameroon will have to go on.
CAF had before the opening match rolled out rules concerning COVID-19.
If a team has no goalkeeper, an outfield player will have to take his place. If the team is depleted to the point that it can not raise a starting 11, the team is deemed to have lost the match by 2-0.
Minimum number of players in case of a team affected by COVID-19
- If the result of the Covid-19 PCR test of any player is positive, such player will not be authorized to go to the stadium or participate in the applicable match.
- A team will be required to play a match if they have a minimum of eleven (11) players available who have tested negative. In the event of the absence of a goalkeeper, another player from the team must replace the goalkeeper, provided the total number of available players is at least eleven.
- A team that does not have a minimum of eleven (11) players available will be considered to have lost the match 0-2.
- In exceptional cases, the Organizing Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations will take the appropriate decision.