By John Essien
Tunisia’s qualification into the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Cameroon has been dealt a huge blow, as reports indicates that 12 key players in the squad have contracted Covid-19.
The Tunisian Football Federation (TFF) had disclosed this on Wednesday as the Carthage Eagles prepared for their final group clash against a resolute Gambian team on Thursday.
According to reports, Team Captain Wahbi Khazri is among the players to test positive.
“This evening (Wednesday) the players took part in a training session with 16 players present and the rest absent due to COVID-19 contamination,” the federation said on its Facebook page.
The federation also said: “Tuesday, the tests revealed the contamination of Ali Maaloul, Aymen Dahmen, Ghailene Chaalali, Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane, Wahbi Khazri, Ali Jemal and Mohamed Amine Ben Hmida who have been isolated from the group.”
Tunisia, the 2004 winners, need to at least draw their final Group F match to be sure of qualification for the last 16.
The North African side had bounced back from their controversial opening 1-0 loss to Mali, when the referee blew the final whistle early, by thrashing Mauritania 4-0 in their second game.