Who is Chaker Alhadhur? The left-back playing in goal for Comoros in Afcon clash against Cameroon

Chaker Alhadhur, Comoros, Afcon 2021Getty

Left-back Chaker Alhadhur has stepped up to play in goal for Comoros in their Africa Cup of Nations last-16 tie against Cameroon.

The African minnows have been forced to put an outfield player between the posts because goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina is injured and remaining options, Moyadh Ousseini and Ali Ahamada, have been ruled out with Covid-19.

Comoros goalkeeper coach Jean-Daniel Padovani confirmed last week that they had already selected the player to step into the role and it was revealed to be Alhadhur when the starting XI was announced on Monday.

Who is Chaker Alhadhur?

The defender was born in France and has spent his entire career in the country.

His professional career started at his local team, Nantes, before he moved on to Caen and Chateauroux and eventually joined current club Ajaccio in 2021.

The 30-year-old made his Comoros debut in a friendly against Burkina Faso in 2014 and became a first-team regular until a cruciate ligament injury ruled him out for the latter stages of their qualification campaign for this year’s Afcon.

Alhadhur was an unused substitute for each of the team’s group stage matches against Gabon, Morocco and Ghana.

Has Alhadhur played in goal before?

Alhadhur is not known to have played as a goalkeeper in an official match before Monday’s match against Cameroon.

However, Padovani told reporters last week that he has looked good in training in the build up to the match.

“It's a player who in training has shown that he can play as a keeper,” he told reporters.

How tall is Alhadhur?

Ajaccio's official website has Alhadhur listed as being 1.72 metres (roughly 5'8") tall.

Why must Comoros use an outfield player in goal?

The trouble for the island nation, who are making their debut appearance at the finals tournament, started when Ben Boina sustained an injury during the team’s group stage win against Ghana.

Ahamada stepped in to replace him, having started the first match, but since then both he and third-choice Ousseni have tested positive for Covid-19.

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It was thought that Ahamada could be cleared to feature against Cameroon on Monday as L’Equipe reported he returned a negative Covid-19 test.

However, the player was not able to return to the squad because he has not been in isolation for the required five days.

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