Uganda: Travel With Bigger Squads, CAF Advise

10 November 2020

Caf are maintaining as strict a stance on health protocols against the spread of Covid-19 as they are trying to keep the integrity of the game intact.

The Ugandan government's requirement for arrivals or football to be played is a certificate confirming a Covid negative test 72 hours prior.

But for Afcon qualifying match days 3 and 4 this and next week, Caf demand that all major actors should have tested negative 48 hours before the game.

According to security and health guidelines released to member associations by Caf, the host federation is responsible for costs of tests on match officials and its delegation.

"The visiting team covers the cost of the PCR test of all its delegation at all times," reads a circular to local FAs.

"In case of a match played in neutral ground, the initial host of the match is considered as the host country in terms of financial coverage."

In case of +ve tests...

What happens, then, if a positive Covid-19 case is registered, and how many players must have tested in affirmative for the match to be affected?

According to Caf Afcon organising committee, "Each match must be played if the team has at least 11 players (including the goalkeeper) + 4 substitutes."

The encouraging news, though, is that for these particular qualifiers, the squad list is not restrictive.

"Therefore, national associations can travel with unlimited number of players," Caf advised.

"It is recommended to travel with the maximum number of players possible to replace any Covid-19 positive player."

Match cancellation...

Caf say that "in case a participating team cannot travel to the host country and/or venue of a match due to any travel or other restriction relating to Covid-19, the team in question shall be considered to have lost the match 2 - 0."

"If a team does not have the minimum number of players (11 players (including goalkeeper) + 4 substitutes) to play a match, the team will be considered to have lost the match 2- 0.

"Therefore, no matches will be postponed or cancelled for positive Covid-19 cases."

However, not all is lost.

"In exceptional circumstances, the organising committee will be consulted for a final decision concerning the match/situation in question."

Five substitutes allowed

Just like many things have changed in this unique year, Caf are applying the exceptional rule of five substitutes adopted by Fifa during the period of the pandemic.

This will be applied for the remainder of the matches in the season 2019/2020.

"To reduce disruption to the match, each team will have a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the game," adds the Caf circular.

Substitutions may also be made at half-time. If both teams make a substitution at the same time, this will count as one of the three opportunities for each team.

Twelve substitutes will be allowed on the bench or seats in the tribunes with easy access to the dugout.

Caf has also appointed six match officials for each game. These include the usual five and a reserve referee in case one of them tested positive.

Coach Johnny McKinstry's Cranes continue training ahead of Thursday's Afcon 2021/22 qualifier against South Sudan.

The Cranes could qualify for Cameroon with two games to spare if they can pull off two victories over South Sudan.

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