The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has set new guidelines & rules regarding the substitutions and COVID-19 cases ahead of the start of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

As the tournament is set to start tomorrow, Sunday, January 9, several teams have been hit by COVID-19, with the likes of Guinea-Bissau recording 10 positive cases in their camp just three days before their AFCON opener against Sudan.

To ease the process of completing all games on time, the CAF have laid down some rules regarding the virus, stating that teams must play their matches provided they have a minimum of 11 players available.

Moreover, in case of the absence of all goalkeepers, an outfield player must go between the sticks, provided the total number of available players is at least 11.

If a team fail to field 11 players, they will be considered to have lost the match by a scoreline of 0-2; however, the in case of exceptional cases, the Organizing Committee of the compeition will be the one to take the appropriate decision.

And regarding the number of substitute players per match, CAF have permitted each team to use a maximum of five substitutes, with a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the game and at half-time.

Unused substitutions and opportunities are carried forward into extra time, where teams will each be allowed one additional substitution and an extra substitution opportunity.

These rules will first take place as hosts Cameroon go head-to-head with Burkina Faso in the opening game of group A on Sunday, three hours before Ethiopia take on Cape Verde.


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