By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon, Juba
The South Sudan’s national team has been knocked out of the Arab 2021 cup qualifiers and a win declared to Jordan following confirmation of coronavirus cases among the country’s delegation in Doha, Qatar.
The Bright Stars were headed to final qualifiers against Jordan scheduled for June 21, before some of the players and technical staff tested positive of the pandemic on Saturday.
“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 FIFA’s statement seen by Juba Echo partly reads.
The decision is based on article 5.6 of the competition regulations and takes into consideration the need to protect the players’ health and everyone involved in the tournament, according to the International Federation of the Football Association (FIFA).
About eight (8) South Sudanese players and a technical staff tested positive of coronavirus on June19, in Doha, Qatar ahead of final qualifiers, before other more were later confirmed positive in the evening.
All delegations were screened for COVID-19 status upon arrival in Qatar last week as per the Qatari’s Ministry of Health regulatory health guidelines for the pandemic.
Two rounds of the PCR tests indicated that seven South Sudanese players and one team member were positive, with another five players receiving a reactive test result.
That per the Qatari Health Ministry’s protocols means that the players were likely incubating the virus.
Given that more other seven players were contacts of the positive cases; this brings a total of players under quarantine currently in Doha to 19.
South Sudan Football Association has confirmed the declaration of the win against Jordan; however, all the tickets of the delegation will be refunded, according to the International Football regulator (FIFA)
The South Sudanese positive cases are stable and asymptomatic, according to the FIFA.
“FIFA and the local organizers deeply regret this unfortunate situation and wish the delegates of South Sudan a speedy recovery,” the statement added.
All the players who tested positive are being monitored and receiving the medical care through the Qatar national healthcare system.