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More COVID disruptions for teams ahead of Africa Cup of Nations

Positive cases, travel plans postponed and cancellations of warm-up games just four days before tournament kicks off.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused more disruption ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, with Senegal delaying their departure for the tournament in Cameroon and Burkina Faso set to miss players in Sunday’s opening game.

Senegal, among the tournament favourites, postponed travel plans after suspected positive cases in their delegation.

Burkina Faso left three players isolating in Abu Dhabi before arriving in Yaounde to face Cameroon on Sunday.

Issoufou Dayo, Dramane Nikiema and Kylian Nikiema will be allowed to travel after they return negative tests and are almost certain to miss Sunday’s match, officials said.

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Cape Verde, who like Senegal have been home-based for their pre-tournament training, said coach Bubista tested positive for COVID-19 and had been placed in isolation ahead of their planned departure on Thursday.

Their preparations have been hit by 21 positive tests among players and staff although a football federation statement said five players were training again, three were in isolation and eight more were testing positive but without any symptoms.

Tunisia reported their captain Youssef Msakni and striker Seifeddine Jaziri had tested positive, and a friendly between the Ivorians and Mali in Jeddah is off because of positive cases in the Ivorian camp, according to media reports.

Malawi left for Cameroon on Wednesday but also left three players behind in isolation.

Defender Mark Fodya, midfielder Charles Petro and striker Richard Mbulu stayed in Saudi Arabia and will be retested on Thursday.

If they test negative, they are scheduled to travel on Friday, a football association statement said.

Ivory Coast were forced to cancel a second warm-up match at their training base in Saudi Arabia.

The 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations will run from January 9 to February 6.

The tournament was originally scheduled to be played in 2021 but was postponed twice due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

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