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Euro 2020: Busquets tests negative, rejoins Spain squad

June 18, 2021 16:13 IST
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Sergio Busquets

IMAGE: Spain's Sergio Busquets during the warm up. Photograph: Pablo Morano/Reuters

Spain captain Sergio Busquets has recovered from COVID-19 and is to rejoin the squad immediately, the team said on Friday, in a boost to their Euro 2020 campaign after making a lacklustre start.

Busquets tested positive on June 6 while preparing for the tournament at Spain's training camp in Madrid and was sent back home to Barcelona into quarantine, although he was able to continue training on an individual basis as he was asymptomatic.

The midfielder will return to the team's camp after returning a negative test and will fly with the rest of the squad to Seville ahead of Saturday's game against Poland, the team said in a statement on their official website.

 

Busquets, 32, is the only surviving member of Spain's 2010 World Cup winning side still in the squad and was named skipper after Sergio Ramos was left out of the squad due to injury.

The Barcelona player, however, is unlikely to face Poland after being unable to train with the group since he first tested positive.

Spain will be aiming to kickstart their campaign against Poland after a frustrating goalless draw with Sweden in their first game in Group E.

UEFA has contingency plan for London-scheduled Euro 2020 final

UEFA has a contingency plan to replace Wembley as host stadium of the Euro 2020 final unless Britain agrees to exempt travelling foreign fans from 10-day quarantine rules, the European soccer governing body said on Friday.

Tournament organisers have been in negotiations with the UK government since it postponed plans to end COVID-19 restrictions on June 21.

The London stadium is scheduled to host the final of the competition, which is taking place in 12 cities across the continent, on July 11, as well as both semi-finals over the preceding days.

"There is always a contingency plan but we are confident that the final week will be held in London," UEFA said in a statement.

The Times newspaper reported on Friday that Budapest was the alternative venue being considered if Wembley was not able to accept travelling supporters.

While it would be a major surprise if UEFA took the unprecedented step of moving a major final at such a late stage, Budapest is hosting its four Euro 2020 games with full stadiums, having sold tickets to Hungarian fans who have been vaccinated or visiting fans with proof of negative COVID-19 tests.

The Hungarian capital also offered itself as an emergency venue for a number of Champions League matches last season when coronavirus restrictions caused complications elsewhere.

"The Hungarian organisers focus on hosting the four Budapest matches," a spokesman for the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) told Reuters.

"However ...MLSZ stands ready to host any high-level football event."

UEFA said discussions with authorities in London centred on allowing fans of participating teams to attend matches "using a strict testing and bubble concept that would mean their stay in the UK would be less than 24 hours and their movements would be restricted to approved transport and venues only."

UEFA said it understood the pressures the UK government faced. It hoped discussions would reach a "satisfactory conclusion" and was delighted that capacity at Wembley was scheduled to go up to at least 50% for the knock-out round matches.

Under current regulations in England, fans travelling from countries on the government's amber list must quarantine for 10 days on arrival, making it difficult for them to fly in for games.

Outside of the three British teams -- England, Scotland and Wales - all other competing countries are on the amber list, except for Turkey which is on the stricter red list.

The UK government has agreed to increase capacity at Wembley to 50% for the knockout stage, meaning crowds of 40,000 rather than the group stage limit of 22,500.

Wembley will also host two round-of-16 matches with the second one, on June 29th, having a 50% capacity.

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Source: REUTERS
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