Why Benin refused to play AFCONQ

AFCON News

Tuesday's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Sierra Leone and Benin has been postponed after the away side refused to accept Covid-19 results provided by the hosts.

Controversy has once again reared its head at the 2021 AFCON qualifiers after Tuesday's clash between Sierra Leone and Benin could not be played following the travelling side's refusal to leave their team bus.

Per reports from Goal, an hour before the match was scheduled to commence, Benin were informed by local officials that at least six of their players had tested positive for Covid-19, including star striker Steve Mounie.

In response, the Beninese camp claimed that their entire team had previously passed a test 72 hours prior to the match and that they would accordingly not be accepting the results furnished by their opponents, nor would they play without their full contingent.

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"What is currently happening is a disgrace for African football," the Benin Football Federation shared on Twitter. "We hope that the Confederation of African Football will take its responsibilities and—especially—take measures following these decisions."

After a lengthy delay, during which it was claimed that local police had tried to remove the six players who had reportedly tested positive from the bus, the match was called off and all of the Benin players returned to their hotel.

The postponement of the match could has cast doubt on which of the two nations will qualify for next year's AFCON tournament, with both Sierra Leone and Benin still capable of qualifying for the tournament.

The away side would have secured their spot in Cameroon by avoiding a defeat in Benin, while the hosts would have progressed with a victory on CAF's head-to-head ruling.

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