The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has stated that countries suffering coronavirus outbreaks will have to play their AFCON matches even if they have only 11 players available.
CAF stated this in a statement released on their official website.
According to the continent’s football governing body, matches will proceed even if none of the 11 players is a goalkeeper and any country unable to fulfill a fixture will forfeit the game by a 2-0 scoreline.
This guideline became necessary no thanks to several nations reported coronavirus cases before the tournament starts on Sunday.
CAF explained that in “exceptional cases” the tournament’s organising committee “will take the appropriate decision”.
Also, CAF announced that five substitutions will be applied at this year’s AFCON.
This year’s AFCON will kick off today (Sunday) between hosts Cameroon and Burkina Faso.
CAF’s guidelines ahead 2021 AFCON:
CAF will apply the five substitutions per match rule during this competition, as follows:
– Each team will be permitted to use a maximum of five substitutes.
– To reduce disruption to the match, each team will have a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the game; substitutions may also be made at half-time.
– If both teams make a substitution at the same time, this will count as one of the three opportunities for each team.
– Unused substitutions and opportunities are carried forward into extra time.
– Where extra time is played, teams will each be allowed one additional substitution, and will have one additional substitution opportunity; substitutions may also be made before the start of extra time and at half-time in extra time.
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.