The last qualifying ticket for the African Cup of Nations will be played between Sierra Leone / Benin. After an imbroglio around the « positive tests for Covid-19 » in the Squirrels, a few days ago, this match, counting for the 6th and last day of the qualifiers in group L, has finally been rescheduled to next June, according to the decision taken by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
It will be necessary to be patient to know who of Sierra Leone or Benin will be the last team qualified for the final phase of the Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2022. Scheduled to take place in Freetown on Tuesday evening, the match could not be played because of « positive tests for Covid-19 » in five Beninese players, a few hours before the start of the match. The situation immediately caused controversy because the Beninese delegation had tested negative in Cotonou before leaving for Sierra Leone.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF), which should decide the case, then decided to reschedule the match Sierra Leone / Benin, next June, to complete the table of countries already qualified for the finals of the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations. « The Organising Committee of the African Cup of Nations of CAF has decided to postpone the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Sierra Leone and Benin to the next FIFA international window in June 2021. (…), » said the statement of the governing body of African football.
« The committee’s decision was taken after examining the official reports of the incidents that compromised the holding of the match at the scheduled time. Taking into account the fact that the match was scheduled on the last day of the FIFA window and that rescheduling it to the following day, Wednesday, would have affected the scheduled return of the players to their respective clubs, the Committee therefore considered that the organisation of the match during the next international window is the best option. CAF has informed the Football Federations of Sierra Leone and Benin of its decision and will provide further information on the updated schedule in due course, » he added.
Currently 2nd in Group L with 7 points, Benin only needs a draw in Freetown to validate its ticket, while Sierra Leone (3rd, 4 pts -1) should necessarily win at home. It should be recalled that 23 countries are qualified for the CAN 2022: Cameroon (host country), Algeria, title holders, Senegal, Tunisia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Comoros, Gambia, Ghana, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Nigeria, Sudan, Malawi, Cape Verde, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau and Ethiopia