The Hague (AFP) – Defending European women’s champions the Netherlands suffered a further blow when goalkeeper and captain Sari van Veenendaal was ruled out for the rest of the tournament.
The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) said on Monday van Veenendaal was out of the tournament with a shoulder injury she suffered 22 minutes into her team’s opening match, Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sweden in Sheffield.
“After a thorough examination, it has become clear that it is no longer possible for her to participate in the European Championship,” the KNVB said in a statement.
Midfielder Jackie Groenen tested positive for Covid-19 following the match and has gone into isolation, though she could return later in the tournament.
Central defender Aniek Nouwen, who limped off injured before half time on Saturday with a sprained ankle, is expected to miss the second group game against Portugal on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old Van Veenendaal is due to return to the Netherlands on Monday.
Her departure is “terrible news”, said Mark Parsons, the Netherlands coach.
“Firstly for Sari, of course, but also for our whole team,” the Englishman continued in the statement.
“Sari is much more than a player in our squad. She is our captain and a very important executive. We will miss her enormously,” he added.
The PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper was replaced on Saturday by Twente’s 22-year-old Daphne van Domselaar, who was making only her second appearance for the team.
Feyenoord goalkeeper Jacintha Weimar was called up to replace van Veenendaal in the squad.
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