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Benin players training in Sierra Leone on the eve of the match

Football

Benin refuse to play against Sierra Leone in Covid row

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, Mar 31 – Benin refused to play a key Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Sierra Leone Tuesday after challenging positive Covid-19 tests for five of their players.

Rows over Covid-19 tests have plagued African football since last year with host national teams and clubs accused of producing false positive results to deprive opponents of stars.

Talks between Sierra Leone, Benin and Confederation of African Football (CAF) officials in Freetown failed to resolve the standoff as both squads remained in their hotels.

Benin hold a three-point lead over Sierra Leone in Group L and both teams have a chance of finishing runners-up to Nigeria.

They needed just a point in the match to book a ticket to the Cup of Nations while Sierra Leone needed a win to earn a ticket.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is scheduled to make a decision on the match with the international window shut on Tuesday night, while the next window is June when the World Cup qualifiers are played.

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