African Cup: Teams must play if have 11 available players

A team at the African Cup of Nations will be required to play a match provided it has a minimum of 11 available squad members who have tested negative for the coronavirus.

Even if there is no goalkeeper available, an outfield player must play in goal to fulfil a fixture, provided there is a total of 11 players.

“A team that does not have a minimum of 11 players available will be considered to have lost the match 0-2,” the Confederation of African Football said in an update of their COVID-19 regulations that was released on Saturday.

Organizers say, however, they are within their rights to “take the appropriate decision” in “exceptional cases.”

Many squads have been affected by coronavirus cases in the buildup to the tournament in Cameroon that starts on Sunday.

On Saturday, Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly tested positive for COVID-19, according to his club Napoli, and is self-isolating while on national team duty. Napoli said the center back is vaccinated and asymptomatic.

CAF also confirmed teams will be able to make five substitutions per match.

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