Swedish Euro team steps up Covid measures after two cases

STOCKHOLM: The Swedish Euro 2020 squad will be subject to stricter Covid measures after two players, star striker Dejan Kulusevski and midfielder Mattias Svanberg test positive, the Swedish FA announced on Wednesday.

“Since two players have now tested positively, a meeting was held Tuesday evening with the medical team and the team’s coaches where various measures were discussed to limit the risk of the infection spreading,” said the association in a press release published Tuesday evening.

A range of measures have been adopted, including daily antigen testing and an increased number of PCR tests, and room meetings will be held in small groups and in the largest rooms available.

Time limits will also be set for players receiving treatment with sessions being held outdoors if possible.

The team, who have already lost star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to injury just weeks before the tournament begins, hope to avoid further spread of the virus with less than a week of their opening game on Monday against Spain.

Juventus midfielder Kulusevski, who was the first player to test positive, will have to forgo the game against Spain, while a second test result is still pending to confirm Svanberg’s infection.

Coach Janne Andersson has said he hopes Kulusevski will recover in time for the team’s second game on June 18 against Slovakia.

According to UEFA rules, if a team is partially placed in quarantine or isolation, the match can proceed as long as the team has at least 13 players including a goalkeeper.

UEFA can also reschedule a match within 48 hours, or move it.

If neither of these options is possible, the team responsible for the cancellation of the match will be subject to a 3-0 loss.

Sweden does not plan to vaccinate its players for the Euro.

“It’s not fair that we are vaccinated before everyone else,” coach Janne Andersson said on Tuesday, referring to Sweden’s current strategy of vaccinating people by decreasing age groups.

“I think it’s good that the elderly and the sick come first,” added team doctor Anders Valentin.

So far only two players are fully vaccinated, one has received a first dose and several others have antibodies. – AFP

Add a Comment