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CHAN 2021: Will Positive Covid-19 test in Zimbabwe put CHAN Opener in doubt?

• A total of 14 positive cases from the Warriors camp have tested positive to coronavirus 15 days to the African Nations Football Championship.  

By Beng Emmanuel

Nine (9) players of the Zimbabwe national team and five technical staff members has tested positive to Covid-19, the Zimbabwe Football Zimbabwe has confirmed. 

The Southern African Nation face host Cameroon in the opener of the 2020 African Nation’s Football Championship-a tournament reserved exclusively for home base players to start on January 16 in Yaoundé. 

The nine players concerned were part of a group of 23 players who were tested on Monday after their return from a break. According to ZIFA the nine positive cases have been quarantined while all training sessions have been suspended although the team has remained in while waiting for further instructions from football authorities in the country. 

An additional five (5) staff members were also tested positive. 

“We confirm that five technical officials of the CHAN team have also tested positive to Covid-19 including some of the coaches bringing the number of affected to 14.  It’s indeed a painful scenario and huge setback. We pray that all the 14 will prevail and recover soon” ZIFA said in a tweet. 

The 2020 African Nations Football Championship kick-offs in 15 days. The continent’s second nation’s pinnacle tournament will run from the 16th of January to the 7th of February 2021. 

What Chances for CHAN opener? 

Zimbabwe is among the sixteen (16) nations to take part in the African Nations Football Championship next January. But so far the only to have raised concerns over their participation. But is that really the case? 

The Zimbabwe Football Association ZIFA says they are concerned with the situation and are finding solutions to the Covid-19 cases in the Warriors den. 

Sport authorities in Zimbabwe have not officially said they won’t be part of the continental tournament. Rather they are very optimistic that players will be ready before the competition kicks-off about two weeks from now. 

Zimbabwe have featured at four CHAN finals. The warriors and are making their comeback after missing out from the 2018 edition in Morocco. 

Their best ever finish was in 2014 when they finished fourth. South Africa staged the event that year.

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