Chile to quarantine returning soccer stars Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal - health ministry


  • Football
  • Wednesday, 11 Mar 2020

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - International Friendly - Chile v Colombia - Estadio Jose Rico Perez, Alicante, Spain - October 12, 2019 Chile's Alexis Sanchez reacts REUTERS/Javier Barbancho

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chilean soccer stars Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal will be quarantined when they return to their home country from Europe to play in a World Cup qualifier this month, Chile's health minister said on Tuesday.

The players - who are signed to European clubs - are due to fly first to Uruguay for a World Cup qualifier on March 26 and then to Chile to face Colombia.

Italy announced a quarantine and advised against all but non-essential travel until April 3 after its death toll from coronavirus jumped by 168 to 631 this week.

"We do not make any distinction by people's profession because nobody is immune to this virus and indeed the quarantine determined today for Italy applies to everyone," said Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, according to local news website Emol.

"Of course, if these players want to work out on a machine in their homes, or all be quarantined together at Juan Pinto Duran (the national football stadium), then that's their call."

A source at the Football Federation of Chile told Emol it had been told nothing about quarantine plans for the players.

"So far there are no changes to our plans," a source said. "What the minister says comes as a surprise."

Spain has suspended flights from Italy and also advised against all non-essential travel. It has so far reported 36 deaths and 1,639 confirmed cases. Italy has at least 10,149.

Alexis Sánchez plays for Inter Milan and Vidal plays for FC Barcelona. Another Chilean player likely to be impacted is Gary Medel, who plays for the Italian club Bologna.

Sanchez's team has been playing Serie A matches in empty stadiums after the Italian government banned large gatherings last week. At around the same time, there was a flurry of claims on social media that Sanchez himself may have contracted the coronavirus - reports later explained by a poor translation of a story about Sanchez's team being impacted by the games ban.

Chile is tracking people returning from countries affected by coronavirus in a bid to contain its spread. So far, 17 cases have been confirmed in the South American country.

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero, writing by Aislinn Laing; Editing by Tom Brown, David Gregorio and Dan Grebler)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Football

Man City's Guardiola says Foden must not look to emulate De Bruyne
Arsenal unsure if Aubameyang available for Southampton
Klopp says Burnley shock can spark Liverpool turnaround
Brazilian club condemns attack on team bus
Lively Hazard on way back to form but needs more confidence
Bruce optimistic despite prolonged winless streak
Watkins breaks goal drought as Villa sink Newcastle
Hazard ends drought, Benzema scores twice as Real rout Alaves
Conte sees red as Inter Milan are held to Udinese stalemate
Man City escape shock Cup exit with late goals at Cheltenham

Stories You'll Enjoy