The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced January 9 as the deadline for the submission of participating teams’ final squad lists for the African Nations Cup. According to CAF, the final 23-man squad must be submitted to the organisation’s headquarters in Cairo by midnight GMT on the night of January 9.
All 16 finalists are entitled to have a 23-man squad and a delegation of a further 17 officials It further warned that any list sent late will leave CAF with no option but to fine the countries that default and a player subtracted from their list.
This happened to South Africa in 1998, when it delayed sending its list to CAF and were only allowed to participate with 22 players, which forced SAFA to leave striker Pollen Ndlanya out of the squad as a result of an embarrassing administrative botch up. CAF has long scrapped a rule which demanded preliminary squad lists from participating countries.
They used to ask for a list of 30 players and then a final list of 22 on deadline day but scrapped the regulation some 20 years ago now. Squad sizes have been increased from 22 to 23 in line with FIFA changes for the World Cup.