Eight Venezuelans positive ahead of Copa opener


SAO PAULO: Eight Venezuela players in Brazil for the Copa America have tested positive for Covid-19, a day before they meet the hosts in the tournament’s opening game.

The “members of the delegation include players and members of the backroom staff,” said a statement from the Health Secretariat in Brasilia on Saturday.

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) made the diagnosis on Friday and informed local health authorities.

“All are asymptomatic, isolated in individual rooms, and are being monitored by the Conmebol team and local health officials,” the statement added.

Conmebol said that in total 13 members of the Venezuela delegation tested positive. Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Quiroga put the number at 12.

Venezuela said it was 11 and announced it was calling up an additional 16 players to join the squad for the month-long tournament.

The Copa America was moved to Brazil at the last minute after Argentina pulled out because of a Covid-19 surge there.

The Copa America, South America’s equivalent of the European Championship, is due to run until July 10. — Reuters

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