Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy has tested positive for COVID-19 after linking up with Senegal for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Napoli defender...
Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy has tested positive for COVID-19 after linking up with Senegal for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and striker Famara Diedhiou are other positive cases in the squad.
Coach Aliou Cisse said: "It's a difficult and complicated situation.
"We are going to be competitive and those there are going to play for those who are absent. We are still going into the game against Zimbabwe full of confidence."
Absences due to COVID-19 and injuries leave Senegal with just 17 players for their opening match against Zimbabwe on Monday.
Confirming Koulibaly’s absence, Napoli tweeted: “Kalidou Koulibaly has tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with Senegal.
“The defender, who is vaccinated and asymptomatic, is now in self-isolation as per protocol.”
Several players have tested positive for COVID-19 since arriving for the competition, including Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who captains Gabon.
Burkina Faso, Egypt, Tunisia, Malawi, Cape Verde Islands, and Ivory Coast have all also reported cases.
Senegal are amongst the favourites for the tournament, boasting global stars like Mendy, Koulibaly, and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane in their side.
Zimbabwe, Guinea, and Malawi are in their group, opponents who the West African side will be expected to beat even without Mendy and Koulibaly.
On Saturday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) released guidance stating that outfield players may have to play in goal in the event of a serious COVID-19 outbreak at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Under competition rules, a team only needs 11 available players to fulfill the fixture — regardless of whether that number includes a goalkeeper.
Equally, it would be possible for a goalkeeper to be forced into playing outfield.Chelsea keeper Mendy tests positive for COVID-19 as virus hits Senegal’s AFCON squad - The Athletic View Story