Two more Senegal players catch COVID during Africa Cup of Nations

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Two more Senegalese players have tested positive for COVID-19, the West African nation’s soccer federation said on Wednesday, further reducing their Africa Cup of Nations squad.

Paris St Germain midfielder Idrissa Gueye and AC Milan left back Fode Ballo-Toure tested positive and will miss Senegal’s second game in the tournament against Guinea scheduled for Friday, the statement said.

Six Senegalese players contracted COVID-19 before the team even left for Cameroon earlier this month. Then on January 9, the day the 24-team tournament started, Senegal’s football federation said that two more players – goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and striker Famara Diedhiou were also positive.

“Saliou Ciss, Pape Matar Sarr and Nampalis Mendy will join the den this Thursday after a negative PCR test done today,” the statement said.

Captain Kalidou Koulibaly, sidelined with the virus, could return for the Guinea game after receiving a negative test result on Tuesday. He will need another negative result on Thursday, a source in the team said.

Senegal, runners-up in the 2019 competition, narrowly won their first game on Monday against Zimbabwe, with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane scoring a penalty deep into injury time. The team’s third and final group game is against Malawi on January 18.