The number of players for each team participating at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament have been increased from 23 to 28, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced.
According to the continent’s soccer governing body, the idea is to allow participating nations have a larger squad to prosecute the biennial showpiece, should there be an issue of players testing positive for Covid-19 during the tournament.
And while the move would avail Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr the opportunity to solidify his team with additional five players, it will also give room for more players to get a chance to represent the country at the biennial tournament.
The decision was contained in a letter signed by Samson Adamu, Director of Competitions at the continent’s football governing body and sent to Member Associations on Sunday, October 24, 2021.
The letter reads in part: “In the occasion of the upcoming final tournament of the TOTALENERGIES Africa Cup of Nations – Cameroon 2021, we would like to provide you with the following decision:
“1.Number of additional players – The Organizing Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations has decided to increase the number of players to 5 additional players. Consequently, the list of players could be increased to a maximum of 28 players. This decision was taken to allow the participating teams have a larger squad list for the competition in case some players test positive for COVID 19.
“2. On the other hand, please note that your federation will bear the cost of the international travel as well as the accommodation of these additional players on the final list. In view of the above, we would like to inform you that the registration of the 5 additional players is only an option and not an obligation.
“3. Number of substitute players: Concerning the number of substitutions, CAF will apply the law of three substitutions per match (+ 1 additional substitution in case of extra time) during the final tournament of the Africa Cup of Nations.”
Cameroon will host the competition from January 9 to February 6, 2022.