Holders Algeria hit with three Covid-19 cases before Cup of Nations

ALGIERS, Algeria, Dec 30 – Algeria’s Youcef Belaili, Mohamed Amine Tougai and Houcine Benayada on Thursday tested positive for Covid-19 with the Africa Cup of Nations set to get underway in a week’s time.

“They’re in good health and have no symptoms,” coach Djamel Belmadi told a press conference in Doha where Algeria are holding a training camp before flying to Cameroon for the tournament starting on January 9.

Forward Belaili could return to training in the next two days, Belmadi said, but defensive duo Tougai and Benayada are currently in Algeria and will join the national squad in the coming days.

Holders Algeria play Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea and the Ivory Coast in the group stage of the biennial tournament which has been pushed back twice, first because of fears that torrential seasonal rains could affect the tight schedule, and then because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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