In apparent move to boost teams with extra playing personnel in the event of more than three Covid-19 positive tests, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has increased the squad list for each country ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations from 23 players to 28.
With the increase, Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, now have additional five players to fortify his team aiming to go beyond the bronze won at the last AFCON 2019 in Egypt.
In a letter sent to all CAF affiliate federations and signed by its Director of Competitions, Samson Adamu, last Sunday, it clearly stated that decision was taken to allow the participating teams have a larger squad list for the competition in case some players test positive for Covid-19.
The letter read in part:
"In the occasion of the upcoming final tournament of the TOTAL ENERGIES Africa Cup of Nations - Cameroon 2021, we would like to provide you with the following decision:
1. Number of additional players - The Organizing Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations has decided to increase the number of players to 5 additional players. Consequently, the list of players could be increased to a maximum of 28 players. This decision was taken to allow the participating teams have a larger squad list for the competition in case some players test positive for COVID 19.
2. On the other hand, please note that your federation will bear the cost of the international travel as well as the accommodation of these additional players on the final list. In view of the above, we would like to inform you that the registration of the 5 additional players is only an option and not an obligation.
3. Number of substitute players: Concerning the number of substitutions, CAF will apply the law of three substitutions per match (+ 1 additional substitution in case of extra time) during the final tournament of the Africa Cup of Nations," the statement stated.
Cameroon will host the competition brought to winter from summer. It is scheduled to begin on January 9 and run till February 6, 2022 when the final will be played to decide the new continental champions.
Algeria are the defending champions of the last edition.