Africa Cup of Nations matches to go ahead if teams have 11 players available as tournament’s Covid-19 rules confirmed | Football News

Africa Cup of Nations organizers have confirmed that teams will play matches provided they have 11 players available, in case they are exhausted due to Covid-19 cases.

Cameroon vs Burkina Faso, Sunday, kicks off live on Sky Sports, the 52-match tournament, and the rules for how teams should deal with absentees due to Covid-19 have been clarified.

Countries will be required to play a match if they have at least 11 players who have tested negative, while in the absence of a goalkeeper, an off-team player must replace the goalkeeper.

Any country that does not have a minimum of 11 players will be considered to have lost the match 0-2.

The organizers also made it clear that each team would be allowed to use a maximum of five substitutions, with a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the game.

When extra time is played, each team will be allowed one extra substitution, and you will be given one extra substitution chance.

Algeria are the defending champions after their 1-0 final victory over Senegal when they left the competition in Egypt in 2019.

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Algeria won the 2019 African Cup of Nations

Why is the tournament taking place now?

This Africa Cup of Nations was due to take place in 2021, and the one-year delay due to the pandemic didn’t really do much.

The tournament will continue as virus cases rise again worldwide, this time driven by the omicron formula. For this reason, only fans who have been fully vaccinated and can show evidence of a negative virus test will be allowed into any of the six stadiums in five host cities to watch matches.

In a country like Cameroon, where less than three percent of the population of 26 million are fully vaccinated, only a small minority of people are eligible to watch the tournament live.

Furthermore, fans will be limited to 60 per cent of the stadium’s capacity, or 80 per cent in matches involving hosts Cameroon.

There is a possibility that many matches will be in almost empty stadiums, although this is not new for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The buildup saw virus outbreaks in several teams heading to Cameroon. The Confederation of African Football and local authorities are facing a major challenge to ensure that the event is not overshadowed by the virus.

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