AFCON 2021: Comoros take on Cameroon without goalkeeper due to COVID-19

Comoros will have to play an outfield player in goal for their Africa Cup of Nations knockout game against Cameroon on Monday after all three of their goalkeepers are unavailable.

The two sides will face off at Olembe Stadium, Yaounde as the newcomers dreams high for a place in the quarterfinals.

There are 12 cases of COVID-19 within the squad, with two of Comoros’ three goalkeepers testing positive. Moyadh Ousseini and Ali Ahamada are self-isolating, and will miss the round of 16 match.

Their third keeper, Salim Ben Boina, is out injured while head coach, Amir Abdou, has also tested positive for the virus.

“We’ve already chosen an outfield player who will start as keeper,” Comoros assistant coach Daniel Padovanni confirmed.

“It’s a player who during training sessions has shown that he can play as a keeper,” he added.

Under competition rules, a team only needs 11 available players to fulfill the fixture regardless of whether that number includes a goalkeeper.

Comoros only have 12 of their 25-man-squad available, meaning that they have been forced to complete the fixture with an outfield player in goal.

“A team will be required to play a match if they have a minimum of 11 players available who have tested negative. In the event of the absence of a goalkeeper, another player from the team must replace the goalkeeper, provided the total number of available players is at least eleven,” A CAF statement explaining the rule.

Comoros general manager El Hadad Himidi said, “We try to deal with it the best we can.”

“Without the coach, some major players and the two remaining goalkeepers, the situation is quite difficult.”

Comoros are appearing in their first AFCON, and sensationally beat Ghana 3-2 on Tuesday to secure their place in the knockout stages.

COVID-19 has affected several squads since the conclusion of the group stages, with Tunisia also experiencing 12 positive cases.

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