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AFCON: CAF limits stadium capacities due to COVID-19

South Africa's national football team supporters cheer during the Cameroon 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match between South Africa and Sudan at Orlando Stadi   -  
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PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP or licensors


After consultations with the Cameroonian government, the African Football Federation said on Tuesday additional rules would apply due to the coronavirus pandemic. Stadiums will have their capacity capped at 80 percent for the host's matches. Other fixtures will only be played in front of 60 percent of the ground's capacity.

Before any team lifts the Africa cup of Nations on February 6 in Cameroon, the 24 squads which secured their place in the competition will play in 6 different stadiums.

For spectators who will come and watch the matches, in addition to vaccination and a negative test already mandatory, the African Football Federation announced new rules on Tuesday. After consultations with the Cameroonian government, the federation decided that stadiums will have their capacity capped at 80 percent for the host's matches.

"In light of the evolution of the health crisis and the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, AFCON and the local organising committee have agreed an upper limit of between 60 percent-80 percent for the capacity of stadiums in the Africa Cup of Nations," CAF (African Football Federation) said

Even with these precautions, many teams have been impacted by infections. Senegal’s national soccer squad was forced to delay its flight to the AFCON after players and six members of the backroom staff tested positive for the coronavirus.

Covid infections registered in numerous squads

Cape Verde and Tunisia have also reported new cases in their teams, while Gambia and Ivory Coast were forced to cancel warmup games because of outbreaks in their squads. Malawi has left three players behind in Saudi Arabia, where the team had a training camp because they tested positive. Nigeria left striker Victor Osimhen of Italian club Napoli out if it's African Cup squad because of his positive virus test.

Despite the health crisis, football lovers hope the party will not be spoiled. Sunday's opening match between Cameroon and Burkina Faso will be played at the 60,000-seater Olembe stadium in Yaoundé.

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