CAF approves major changes for AFCON qualifiers

Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the continent’s soccer body has confirmed some changes in the qualifying Cameroon 2022.

The Confederation of African Football has made remarkable changes to the game in the post-Covid-19 landscape, including the obvious fact that there will be no fans at venues for the qualifying November.

According to the football body, Afcon 2022’s qualifiers, Caf Champions League and Caf Confederation Cup will increase the number of players by 10, as participating teams will make it possible to replace any player who contracted the virus.

“For competitions where the regulations compile a list with a limited number of players (Example: Interclubs, competitions with final tournament system): increase the number of players by ten players; (for example, if the regulations compile a list of 30 players, the number is increased to 40), reads a statement from Caf.

In addition, the qualifying matches of November will see a temporary change in the maximum number of substitutes a team may make during a match, which will increase the number from three to five.

The implication of this is that the maximum number of substitutes that may sit on the bench will swell from seven to nine.

“The number of substitutes allowed on the starting list remains unchanged in accordance with the terms of each competition. Five substitutes are allowed for the 3rd and 4th playing days of the Afcon 2021 qualifiers,” he continued.

The five-substitute rule was initially introduced by the Federation of International Football Association (Fifa) and the International Football Association Board (Ifab) as a temporary measure and apparently applies until the end of 2020.

Both institutions will reconsider the rule change at a later stage to determine whether its application should be extended until 2021.

Although Caf has ruled that no fans will be allowed to take stadiums for November matches, there is still an adjustment that any government of the host association wants to insist on fans.

“All matches must be played without spectators, but if a host association approves that matches can be played with spectators, the host federation must obtain prior approval from Caf,” he said.

“The number of spectators may not exceed 50% of the stadium capacity. These measures are effective and are only valid during the current context of the global health crisis due to Covid-19.”


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