January 24, 2022

AFCON 2021: Burkina Faso hit by coronavirus ahead of opener with Cameroon

By Brian Aheebwa
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Burkina Faso before they faced Cameroon in the opening game of the 2021 Edition of the Africa Cup of Nations | CAF Image

Coronavirus cases have serged the Burkina Faso camp as they prepare to take on hosts Cameroon in the opening game of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Head coach Kamou Malo and four first-team players whose names have been withheld returned positive results, and will miss out on the Olembe Stadium showdown on Sunday evening.

However, team captain Bertrand Traore was left amused by what exactly is happening, saying; “It is a scandal. We cannot be deprived of first-team players 24 hours before the match.”

“The authorities must review the organisation. We cannot accept this decision. We can redo tests of our positive players,” he added during Saturday’s press conference.

During the same presser, assistant head coach Firmin Sanou noted that it is tough times ahead of them but trust will be put in the available players.

“We have four or five COVID cases, mainly first-team players. We are not going to name names. It calls everything into question, but we have confidence in the players who will replace them,” Sanou said before adding.

“On Friday morning, a medical team showed up at our hotel for tests. When we tried to understand who had sent them, CAF told us that they had not sent them, so we refused to do the tests.”

“Another team arrived in the night, apparently the CAF team. We carried out the tests, which informed us of four to five cases of COVID. I say four or five because they say that our first player tested did not carry out the test,” he noted.

Although the Stallions suggested a second alternative because they believe the tests were not PCR tests which are done 48 hours before the match, it seems already too late for those that tested positive to be involved against Cameroon.

Burkina Faso AFCON Squad

Goalkeepers: Herve Koffi (Charleroi, Belgium), Aboubacar Sawadogo (Kadiogo, Burkina Faso), Soufiane Farid Ouedraogo (Fuenlabrada, Spain), Kilian Nikiema (ADO Den Haag, Netherlands)

Defenders: Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Issoufou Dayo (Renaissance Berkane, Morocco), Steeve Yago (Aris Limassol, Cyprus), Oula Traore (Horoya, Guinea), Patrick Malo (Hassania Agadir, Morocco), Issa Kabore (Troyes, France), Hermann Nikiema (Salitas, Burkina Faso), Soumaila Ouattara (FUS Rabat, Morocco)

Midfielders: Adama Guira (Racing Rioja, Spain), Blati Toure (Eskilstuna, Sweden), Gustavo Sangare (Quevilly-Rouen, France), Ismahila Ouedraogo (PAOK, Greece), Dramane Nikiema (Horoya, Guinea), Saidou Simpore (Al Ittihad, Egypt), Eric Traore (Pyramids, Egypt), Cyrille Barros Bayala (AC Ajaccio, France), Hassane Bande (Istra 1961, Croatia)

Forwards: Dango Ouattara (Lorient, France), Cheick Djibril Ouattara (Olympique Safi, Morocco), Zakaria Sanogo (Ararat-Armenia, Armenia), Kouame Botue (AC Ajaccio, France), Bertrand Traore (Aston Villa, England), Abdoul Tapsoba (Standard Liege, Belgium), Mohamed Konate (Akhmat, Russia)

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