Zimbabwe have been handed a huge morale booster ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations Group B opening clash against Senegal on Monday after all the players tested negative in the mandatory pre-match Covid-19 tests conducted on Saturday.
Zifa confirmed the good news in a statement on their social media pages on Sunday.
There were no positive cases recorded from COVID-19 PCR tests conducted on #TeamZimbabwe yesterday.
All 22 #Warriors, are available for our match against Senegal tomorrow at 2PM [GMT+1]
Jordan Zemura is out of this one#AFCON2021 #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 #Warriors pic.twitter.com/874PUZAWPs
— Zimbabwe Football Association (@online_zifa) January 9, 2022
With the exception of the unavailability of England-based rising star Jordan Zemura, who is set to miss the opening match after a delayed arrival in Cameroon, all the other 22 players in camp will be available for selection.
The clean bill of health in the Warriors camp is in stark contrast to the dire situation in the Senegal camp after three of their key players tested positive during the tests conducted on Sunday.
The trip which is headlined by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy also includes Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and forward Famara Diedhiou.
Senegal, Africa’s top-ranked team, delayed their departure for the tournament by a day earlier this week after three players and six staff members returned positive tests.
The squad left without the three players who were placed in quarantine.
CAF has said teams will have to play their matches even if they only have 11 players available. An outfield player must go in goal if there is no recognised goalkeeper.
Any team that is unable to fulfill a fixture will forfeit the match 2-0.
CAF officials said in “exceptional cases” the tournament organisers “will take the appropriate decision”.