World football governing body, FIFA has confirmed that the national football team of South Sudan has forfeited the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup preliminary match against Jordan in Doha, Qatar.
FIFA confirmed the development today hours before the two teams took to the pitch. The development comes after some members of the South Sudan team tested positive for COVID-19. the CO members of
On Sunday the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) had confirmed that nine players and one official had tested positive for COVID-19, but had hoped the remaining players would be able to play the match.
However, FIFA today made it clear that the Bright Star of South Sudan have forfeited the match.
“Following the confirmation of COVID-19 cases among the South Sudan delegation, the FIFA Bureau for Men’s Senior Tournaments has declared the match scheduled to take place this evening against Jordan as part of the FIFA Arab Cup qualifiers a forfeit with a 3-0 win to Jordan. The decision is based on article 5.6 of the competition regulations (“force majeure”) and takes into consideration the need to protect the health of the players and everyone involved in the tournament,” said the FIFA communication.
The world football boy explained that upon their arrival in Qatar and as per the protocols established by the Qatari Ministry of Health, all delegations were tested for COVID-19, and after two rounds of PCR tests, it was confirmed that seven players and one team member of South Sudan were positive, with another five players receiving a reactive test result, which as per the Qatari Ministry of Health, means that these players were likely incubating the virus.
“Given that another seven players had close contact with those who tested positive, a total of 19 players are currently in isolation. There are no cases presenting severe symptoms and everyone who tested positive is being monitored and receiving the best possible medical care for free through the Qatar national healthcare system,” added the communication.
FIFA said protecting the health and safety of everyone involved in the FIFA Arab Cup remains a top priority with a comprehensive program based on the WHO’s risk-based approach being implemented in coordination with the host country. “ FIFA and the local organizers deeply regret this unfortunate situation and wish the delegates of South Sudan a speedy recovery,” added FIFA.
The preliminary round of the FIFA Arab Cup started on Saturday with Sudan ejecting Libya 1-0, before Oman saw off Somalia 2-1 on Sunday. On Tuesday Mauritania will take on Yemen, while Djibouti will battle Lebanon on Wednesday. The matches in the preliminary round will end on June 25th.
Andrew Jackson ORYADA Snr