More COVID-19 disruption for teams before Cup of Nations finals

COVID-19 infections caused more disruption to African Cup of Nations preparations on Wednesday, with Senegal delaying their departure for the tournament in Cameroon and Burkina Faso set to miss players in Sunday’s opening game.

COVID-19 infections caused more disruption to African Cup of Nations preparations on Wednesday.(Representative Image)   -  GETTY IMAGES

COVID-19 infections caused more disruption to African Cup of Nations preparations on Wednesday, with Senegal delaying their departure for the tournament in Cameroon and Burkina Faso set to miss players in Sunday’s opening game.

Cape Verde Islands and Tunisia also reported new positive cases of the novel coronavirus and the Ivory Coast were forced to cancel a second warm-up match at their training base in Saudi Arabia.

Hosts Cameroon has a full complement training again after players returned from quarantine.

Burkina Faso left three players still isolating in Abu Dhabi before arriving in Yaounde before facing Cameroon on Sunday.

Issoufou Dayo, Dramane Nikiema and Kylian Nikiema will be allowed to travel after they return negative tests and are almost certain to miss Sunday's match, officials said.

Malawi left for Cameroon on Wednesday but also left three players behind in isolation. Defender Mark Fodya, midfielder Charles Petro and striker Richard Mbulu stayed in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and will be re-tested on Thursday.

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If they test negative, they are scheduled to travel on Friday, a football association statement said.

Senegal was scheduled to depart Dakar on Wednesday, but the trip was delayed for re-testing of the squad after positive cases for midfielders Pape Matar Sarr and Nampalys Mendy and striker Mame Baba Thiam.

Senegal Football Federation general secretary Victor Seh Cisse said a further six staff members had also tested positive.

Cape Verde Islands, who like Senegal have been home-based for their pre-tournament training, said coach Bubista had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been placed in isolation ahead of their planned departure on Thursday.

Their preparations have been hit by 21 positive tests among players and staff although a football federation statement said five players were training again, three were in isolation and eight more were testing positive but without any symptoms.

Defender Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui and midfielder Pierre Kunde, who went into isolation last week after testing positive for COVID-19, are back training for Cameroon.

Tunisia reported their captain Youssef Msakni and striker Seifeddine Jazizi had tested positive, and a friendly between the Ivorians and Mali in Jeddah is off because of positive cases in the Ivorian camp, media reports said.

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