Benin’s AFCON Qualifier Against Sierra Leone Postponed Until June
The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Benin and Sierra Leone has been postponed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to the next FIFA international widow in June.
The Group L match was originally scheduled to be played in Free Town on Tuesday 30 March, but was put on hold after Benin refused to accept the results of Covid-19 tests presented to them by the hosts.
Reports from CAF headquarters in Cairo indicate that the qualifier would now be played on Sunday 16 June, with neutral Covid-19 officials expected to carry out the PCR tests.
On Tuesday, the Squirrels squad refused to leave their bus at the stadium after local authorities claimed ix of their players had tested positive for Covid-19, including star striker Steve Mounie.
Benin FA officials called the situation a shame for African football and transported the players back to their hotel in Free Town after a four hours of waiting.
Later, talks between Benin and Sierra Leone officials were held but failed to resolve the standoff as both squads remained in their camps.
Benin, who headed into the match second in Group L behind Nigeria, will advance to the Nations Cup final if they avoided defeat.
For Sierra Leone they would have booked a ticket to Cameroon if they won the match with either superior head-to-head record or goal difference determining their fate.
In head-to-head stats, Sierra Leone and Benin have met in three previous international matches dating back to 2006.
The Squirrels have won all three matches, including the above-mentioned 1-0 triumph when the teams first met in Group L of these qualifiers.