The Madagascar military came to the rescue. According to them, three players of Tanzania tested positive for covid-19. Among them was Ally Samatta of Antwerp. But was it all true?
A dry tweet from the Tanzanian Football Federation on November 14: “Armed Madagascar army soldiers storm the Tanzania National team players’ hotel located in Antananarivo. The soldiers claim that there are players in the Tanzania National Covid-19 transmission team.” Coincidence or not, these would be three key players of the African country – Manula, Mwamnyet, and Samatta.
Anyway, those three would eventually not play against Madagascar, a match that no longer mattered to the home country. They had already been eliminated. The question, of course, is whether Samatta has effectively tested positive for covid. According to media on the ground, the answer is a resolute “no”.
Tanzania’s entire squad was tested before departure, and everyone came up negative. The players left by private flight to Antananarivo, where they were first not allowed to leave the plane. Everyone was tested again, and the three players suddenly tested positive.
Tanzania was surprised. The country did PCR tests again, and each player tested negative again. The team left for the players’ hotel, the army invaded. After the match – which ended 1-1 – everyone was allowed to return to Tanzania.
Samatta is still at the scene in Dar es Salaam for the time being. The Antwerp striker was tested again, to be absolutely sure. If that test is negative, he will leave for Belgium in principle tonight.