AFCON Round Of 16 Match Will Feature An Outfield Player In Goal After COVID-19 Outbreak
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YAOUNDÉ - The Comoros Islands will have to use one of their outfield players in goal against Africa Cup of Nations hosts Cameroon on Monday after being hit by COVID-19 infections.
The Comoros Football Federation reported 12 cases in their camp on Saturday including their only two fit goalkeepers and coach Amir Abdou on Sunday said they would go into the last-16 tie in Yaoundé with a makeshift goalkeeper.
"We have already chosen an outfield player who will start as a goalkeeper. He is a player who, during training, showed that he could play as a goalkeeper," goalkeeping coach Jean-Daniel Padovani told a news conference without revealing the identity of the player in question.
First choice Salim Ben Boina suffered a serious shoulder injury and the other goalkeepers Ali Ahamada and Moyadh Ousseni are in quarantine after testing positive. Also out of Monday’s match are defenders Kassim Abdallah and Alexis Souahy, midfielders Nakibou Aboubakari and Yacine Bourhane and attacking midfielder Mohamed M'Changama.
The Comoros qualified for the last 16 against all expectations after a shock win over Ghana on Tuesday but now face a major crisis ahead of the biggest game in their footballing history. Tournament rules state that teams must play as long as they have a minimum of 11 players available. If they have no goalkeeper available, another player must play in that position.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond)