Comoros will not be forced to field an outfield player in goal for their historic Africa Cup of Nations last-16 match after goalkeeper Ali Ahamada tested negative for Covid-19.
The debutants are set to face hosts Cameroon after pulling off one of the all-time tournament shocks by beating traditional African heavyweights Ghana 3-2 to advance from the group stage.
However, any chances of repeating that sensational result were dealt a near-fatal blow when news emerged that many of the playing squad and management had tested positive for the virus.
First-choice goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina was already ruled out with injury while back up stoppers Moyadh Ousseini and Ahamada were among the positive cases.
Ahead of the game, there were suggestions the team would be forced to field an outfield player in goal for the match.
Ahamda’s negative test means they will at least have a recognised keeper but still can only call on 13 available players and will also be missing coach Amir Abdou from the sidelines.
CAF rules state that teams must fulfil their fixtures if 11 players are available, even if they don’t have a goalkeeper.
“A team will be required to play a match if they have a minimum of 11 players available who have tested negative.
“In the event of the absence of a goalkeeper, another player from the team must replace the goalkeeper, provided the total number of available players is at least 11.
“In exceptional cases, the Organizing Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations will take the appropriate decision.”