AFCON match rescheduled after COVID-19 debacle


CAF has announced a new date for the Africa Cup of Nations match between Sierra Leone and Benin Republic, which was rescheduled after the Leone Stars refused to accept alleged positive COVID-19 tests.

The Group L match, which was due to take place on Monday, was postponed after Sierra Leone rejected a few COVID-19 test outcomes that had been taken, and will now take place at 18:00 today

Six of the hosts' players tested positive for the virus, and as a result, the Leone Stars protested the reliability and timing of those tests. 

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The timing was called into questioning because the players were busy warming up for the match when the news brokeFive of the positive players were set to start in the important tie, and this led to several hours of delay as the matter was debated behind closed doors.  

An official from the Sierra Leone Football Association told Goal: "The game has refused to go on because of questions surrounding the COVID-19 results about our players.  

"This is foul play and it will not be tolerated. The Leone Stars were already warming up for the game and suddenly, results came out and showed six of our players tested positive. As it stands, the game is yet to start, and I am not in the best position to find out if the game would go on or not." 

A similar situation happened to Michel Dussuyer's Squirrels in March when Benin's squad refused to leave their team bus after they were made aware of six positive tests. They were told an hour before the match was due to start that six of their players, including former Huddersfield Town striker Steve Mounie, had tested positive for coronavirus. 

Benin refused to compete in the match because they had taken COVID-19 tests 72 hours prior to the new results, with those tests showing that the whole squad was negative.   

Dussuyer's team will be hoping to rub salt into Sierra Leone's wounds as all they need is a draw to guarantee their place in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, while the Leone Stars need a victory to proceed to the tournament. 

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