Slovakia defender Denis Vavro and a member of the team’s coaching staff have tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of the European Championship match against Sweden.
They are the first positive tests for COVID-19 to have been announced since the championships started.
Coach Stefan Tarkovic said Vavro has no symptoms and is isolating. He didn’t disclose the name of the coach.
Testing took place at the team’s training base in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, two days after Slovakia’s first game of the tournament in the Russian city.
The game against Sweden on Friday is also in St. Petersburg.
Slovak player, staff member test positive for #COVID19
(In pic: Slovakia defender Denis Vavro) pic.twitter.com/UQ0iNlcNpd
— TOI Sports (@toisports) June 17, 2021
“We started to work with the Russian public health authorities,” Tarkovic said through a translator, “and started to apply the corresponding UEFA protocol. So we took all the steps to avoid the spread of the infection.”
UEFA protocol states that teams with fewer than 13 players could have their game “rescheduled within the next 48 hours of the date of the relevant match” and possibly at a different venue.
“Any additional player called up to meet the minimum of 13 players requires that an equivalent number of quarantined players are definitively withdrawn from the 26 players list,” the European soccer body said.
Sweden players Dejan Kulusevski and Mattias Svanberg tested positive for the virus ahead of the tournament.
Kulusevski is expected to play a part in the match at Saint Petersburg Stadium.
Russia reported on Friday, hours before the first game of the tournament between Italy and Turkey, that winger Andrey Mostovoy tested positive for the virus.
Russian authorities didn’t quarantine any players as close contacts on that occasion.
Slovakia beat Poland 2-1 in its first game in Group E and the 25-year-old Vavro was an unused substitute.
“It is a tough situation for the player, who has the whole career ahead of him and was looking forward to the Euros,” Tarkovic said.
“So it’s a shame he is out due to that situation.”