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Dutch drop Covid-positive Cillessen from Euro squad

The Hague (AFP) – Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen will miss the European Championship after being dropped by Frank de Boer for testing positive for Covid-19, the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) announced on Tuesday.  

It is the first major coronavirus-related withdrawal from the tournament. 

“I told Jasper of my decision this morning,” de Boer was quoted as saying in a KNVB statement. “Let me start by saying that I feel incredibly sorry for Jasper. But I had to make the decision.” 

The 32-year-old Valencia goalkeeper has been in isolation since testing positive last week.

“He missed an important part of the preparation,” said de Boer. “We don’t know how long it will take until he is 100 percent fit again. I don’t want to take any risks in that respect. We are on the eve of an European Championship and I want to be sure.”

De Boer added Marco Bizot to the 26-man squad. The 30-year-old AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper has one cap.

The Dutch squad are training in Faro, Portugal, where they will play a friendly against Scotland on Wednesday before returning to the Netherlands for a second warm-up match against Georgia on Sunday. 

The Netherlands will start the tournament against Ukraine on 13 June before facing Austria (17 June) and North Macedonia (21 June) in the group stage. 

The three matches will be played at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam in front of 16,000 spectators.

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