Uefa says play on after two positive tests at Atletico
Champions League quarter-finalists hit by Covid-19 must compete as planned so long as they still have 13 players available, Uefa confirmed yesterday, after two Atletico Madrid squad members tested positive.
European football’s governing body all but ruled out fresh postponements as Atletico returned to training yesterday afternoon after the rest of their squad tested negative for the virus.
The club’s morning session was postponed and their plans to travel to the Portuguese capital later were put on hold after forward Angel Correa and injured defender Sime Vrsaljko tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
The club have now said Diego Simeone’s side will fly out to Lisbon today without the pair, who were isolating at home after testing positive for the virus but were both asymptomatic.
Atletico face German side RB Leipzig on Thursday in the quarterfinals, hoping to set up a last-four meeting with Paris St-Germain or Atalanta, who play tomorrow.
“We refer you to the Uefa medical protocol and the match is planned to be played as scheduled,” Uefa said.
The Uefa protocol for the last eight says: “If one or more players or officials of a club test positive for Covid-19 in the tests required by the Uefa Return to Play Protocol, the match will take place as scheduled unless the national/local authorities of one or both clubs involved or of where the match will take place (in case of a neutral country) require a large group of players or the entire team to go into quarantine.
“If at least 13 players registered on the A list (including at least one goalkeeper) are available, the match must go ahead on the scheduled date.”
Portuguese police expect a maximum of 200 fans to arrive from the eight clubs who have qualified for the mini-tournament to be held over the next fortnight.
The Public Security Police will have up to 400 officers on the streets to ensure the sanctity of the bubbles around the teams. That reflects the stronger quarantine measures that are in place for Lisbon’s three million residents, compared to their eight million compatriots.
Staying away: Angel Correa was one of two Atletico players who tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday