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Anger grows after Covid-19 outbreak in Uruguay squad


Montevideo (AFP) – An outbreak of Covid-19 cases in the Uruguay squad is causing increasing alarm as captain Diego Godin became the 16th member to test positive for the virus on Friday after returning to his club.

The government is awaiting explanations from the Uruguayan football federation following the raft of infections that occurred as the national team assembled for two World Cup qualifiers.

Atletico Madrid are furious after two of their players tested positive, including Luis Suarez. The striker missed Tuesday’s 2-0 home defeat by Brazil as a result.

Atletico president Enrique Cerezo criticised the laxity of the measures taken by the Uruguayan federation. 

“They weren’t tested,” he told Cadena Ser radio Thursday. In Spain, “the players don’t shower. We monitor them before and after a match and training.”

According to Spanish media, La Liga intends to file a complaint with FIFA.

“We’ve been careful but we’re not untouchable,” said Uruguay assistant coach Celso Otero.

The country’s health minister Daniel Salinas has also demanded explanations from the federation “for its responsibility in respecting the protocols”.

Salinas was troubled by a photo posted on Twitter Saturday showing nine players gathered round a barbecue. Five of them have since tested positive.

“There’s been a certain lack of concern,” the minister told reporters.

Defender Matias Vina was the first player to test positive after last week’s 3-0 win over Colombia. He plays for Brazilian club Palmeiras, who have reported 17 cases of coronavirus.

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