FIFA Arab Cup: South Sudan out as players test positive for Covid

Tuesday June 22 2021

Seven more South Sudanese national football team players test positive for Covid-19. PHOTO | FILE | NMG

By Garang Malak


The FIFA Bureau for Men’s Senior Tournaments Monday announced that the Arab Cup qualifiers match between South Sudan and Jordan was forfeited with a 3-0 win to Jordan, after seven more Bright Stars players tested positive for Covid-19.

On Sunday, eight South Sudanese national team players tested positive for Covid-19.

“Following the confirmation of Covid-19 cases among the South Sudan delegation, the forfeit 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.

“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,” reads the statement from FIFA.

“They 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.”


FIFA and the local organisers said they deeply regret the unfortunate situation and wish the delegates of South Sudan a speedy recovery, adding that their match tickets will be refunded as they travel back to their country.

“Protecting the health and safety of everyone involved in the FIFA Arab Cup remains a top priority with a comprehensive programme based on the World Health Organization’s risk-based approach being implemented in coordination with the host country,” FIFA added.

On Sunday, at least eight football players in South Sudan’s national team tested positive for Covid-19, ahead of their FIFA Arab Cup Tournament, the country’s football association confirmed via a tweet.

The delegation consisted of 401 members, with 23 players and 18 officials.

The 2021 FIFA Arab Cup is scheduled to be the 10th edition of the Arab Cup and the first edition organised by FIFA.  

The matches will take place at six Qatar 2022 tournament venues, some of which have hosted top-level football in recent months while others are in the final stages of construction.

The 23 nations participating in the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 are: Qatar (host nation), Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.