Football: Soccer-COVID hits favourites ahead of Africa Cup of Nations finals


(Reuters) – Algeria, Ivory Coast and Morocco, who’re among the many favourites for the Africa Cup of Nations, have been hit by COVID-19 simply over every week earlier than the match kicks off in Cameroon.

The Ivorians mentioned gamers arriving from Europe at their coaching camp in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, had examined constructive and been put into quarantine by native authorities.

They didn’t identify the gamers nor state how lengthy they must isolate however the remainder of the squad would proceed with their coaching, a staff assertion on Thursday added.

Ivory Coast have been making ready in Saudi Arabia since Monday and are on account of keep till Jan. 5, earlier than heading to Cameroon, the place they may compete in Group E in opposition to Algeria, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Algeria earlier this week mentioned forwards Youcef Belaili and defenders Mohamed Amine Tougai and Houcine Benyada had examined constructive at their coaching camp in Qatar.

They must “observe the interval of quarantine required by sanitary protocols earlier than re-joining the squad,” mentioned the Algerian federation.

On Thursday, Spanish membership Barcelona mentioned their Moroccan participant Abdessamad Ezzalzouli had additionally examined constructive, placing his participation on the finals unsure.

Ezzalzouli is barely anticipated to reach at Morocco’s pre-tournament coaching camp subsequent week.

All gamers known as up for the Cup of Nations however whose golf equipment are taking part in this weekend are allowed to remain on the golf equipment till Monday in a concession introduced final week by the Confederation of African Football.

Usually, gamers should be launched by their golf equipment to their respective nationwide groups 14 days earlier than the beginning of the match.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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