The Confederation of African Football has made notable changes to the game in the post-Covid-19 landscape, including the obvious fact that there will be no supporters at match venues for November’s qualifiers in the interest of public health.
According to the football ruling body, Afcon 2022 qualification games, Caf Champions League and Caf Confederation Cup will have number of players increased by 10 players as that will allow participating teams to replace any player who contracts the virus.
“For the competitions where the regulations imposes a list with a limited number of players (Example : Interclubs, Competitions with final tournament system…) : increase the number of players with 10 players; (if for example the regulations imposes a list of 30 players, the number will be increased to 40),” a statement from Caf read.
In addition, November’s qualifiers will witness a temporary change to the maximum number of substitutes a team is permitted to make during a game, increasing the number from three to five.
The implication of this is that the maximum number of substitutes permitted to sit on the bench will swell from seven to nine.
“The number of substitutes allowed on the start list remains unchanged in conformity with each competition’s regulations. Five substitutions will be allowed for matchday 3 and 4 of the Afcon 2021 qualifiers,” it continued.
The five-substitute rule has initially been introduced by the Federation of International Football Association (Fifa) and International Football Association Board (Ifab) as a temporary measure and is ostensibly in place until the end of 2020.
Both bodies will revisit the rule change at a later stage in order to assess whether its application needs to be extended into 2021.
Although Caf had ruled that no fans will be allowed into stadia for November games, nevertheless, there is a tweak should any host association’s government insists on having fans around.
“All the matches must be played without spectators, however, should a host association’s government approve that matches can be played with spectators, the host federation must obtain prior approval from Caf,” it added.
“The number of spectators shall not exceed 50% of the stadium capacity. These measures are effective and are valid only during the current context of global health crisis due to the Covid-19.”
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