Juba, South Sudan,
June 21, 2021 – At least 19 South Sudanese players are reportedly in self-isolation in Qatar after nine players, including a member of the team tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Federation of the International Football Association (FIFA) announced Monday that a match scheduled today between South Sudan and Jordan has been forfeited with the latter awarded three points and three goals.
“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 federation said in a statement.
“The 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,” FIFA added.
The world football governing body said the Bright Stars were tested twice for the virus upon their arrival in Qatar and as per the protocols established by the Qatari Ministry of Health.
“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,” it said.
“Given that another seven players had close contact with those who tested positive, a total of 19 players are currently in isolation,” FIFA said adding that there were no cases presenting severe symptoms and that everyone who tested positive was being monitored and receiving the best possible medical care at no cost through the Qatar national healthcare system.
The body says it deeply, with other local organizations, “regret this unfortunate situation and wish the delegates of South Sudan a speedy recovery.” Both teams will have their tickets for the match refunded after the cancellation.
FIFA said, “protecting the health and safety of everyone involved in the FIFA Arab Cup remains a top priority with a comprehensive program based on the World Health Organization’s risk-based approach being implemented in coordination with the host country.”