The Confederation of African Football, CAF, has asked teams to have enough players to participate in the 2020/2021 CAF interclub competition and Total Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for November and December 2020.
The Continental Football governing body has confirmed an increment in the slots of players allowed for each team across their competitions including the AFCON Qualifiers and Inter Club Competitions.
For Inter Club competitions like CAF Champions League, the number has been increased from 30 to 40 players, meaning that Al Rabita FC Juba for example, can register about 40 players for their continental duty.
For competitions like AFCON Qualifiers, there is no limit on players. It should be noted that South Sudan went to Kampala with a 26 man squad to face Uganda Cranes at St Mary’s Stadium, and the same squad will also be flown to Kenya to host Uganda in their return leg at Nyayo National Stadium.
This, CAF says, will help the teams to fill the void in case some of the players test positive for Covid19.
The letter from CAF Acting General Secretary Abdelmounaim Bah to member associations, reads in part:
“The Emergency Committee of CAF has, in order to allow the different teams engaged in CAF competitions to have a sufficient number of players to participate in the matches, has
adopted following the proposal of the Organising Committee of AFCON the following decisions:
“For the competitions where the regulations imposes a list with a limited number of players (Example : Interclubs, Competitions with final tournament system…): increase the number of players with 10 players; (if for example the regulations imposes a list of 30 players, the number will be increased to 40):
“For the competitions where the regulations allows the modification of the players’ list from one match to the other (example: AFCON qualifiers, Women AFCON Qualifiers…etc): the associations can travel with unlimited number of players which will allow them to replace any positive player in the PCR COVID19 test:”
Following the new adjustments, CAF says that a team will therefore present at least 11 players (including a goalkeeper) and four substitutes to participate in a match regardless of the number of players who tested positive for Covid19.
Any team that will fail to honour a match due to positive Covid19 tests among other related circumstances, will lose the game by forfeiture as CAF has indicated below:
“Should a team not be able to participate to a match, the result of the match will be determined according to the below criteria:
a. if a team does not have the minimum number of players (11 players including 1 goalkeeper + 4 substitutes) to play a match, the team will be considered to have lost the match 2- 0.
“b. In case a participating team cannot travel to the host country and/or venue of a Match due to any travel or other restriction relating to COVID-19, the participating team shall be considered to have lost the match 2 – 0.
c. In case a host team cannot organize a match or has not been authorized by its government to receive another team, the host team shall be considered to have lost the match 2-0
d. For exceptional cases, the organizing committee shall be consulted to take a final decision.“
CAF has also withheld the earlier decision to allow five substitutions for the AFCON doubleheaders.