Spain vs Sweden in one of Euro 2020's opening fixtures has been thrown into chaos by two further players testing positive for Covid-19.
Sergio Busquets, the Spain captain, returned a positive coronavirus test over the weekend and has since been in isolation. The Spanish football federation are now trying to establish who may have been in close contact with the Barcelona midfielder within the team bubble.
But now two Sweden players have tested positive for Covid (per the Mirror), putting the Group E fixture - due to be held in Seville on Monday - in serious jeopardy.
The two players are reportedly Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski and Bologna midfielder Mattias Svanberg.
Kulusevski (below) was first to enter isolation, after the 21-year-old complained of suffering with cold-like symptoms.
A statement from the Swedish FA confirmed the news, explaining: "This morning, Dejan Kulusevski informed us in the medical team that he had cold symptoms.
"Dejan was quickly tested immediately and that test was positive. Dejan has since been kept isolated from the rest of the group and did not travel with us to Gothenburg, says national team doctor Anders Valentin."
News later broke that the 22-year-old Svanberg (below) had also tested positive and left Sweden's training base on Tuesday to isolate until he is allowed to return.
The two Swedish internationals and Busquets will all certainly miss the first group game of the Euros. But there is understandably concern about whether the fixture can go ahead if any other players fail tests in the days ahead.
Spain were due to face Lithuania in a final warm-up game on Tuesday, but chose to fulfil that fixture using players exclusively from the under-21 side. Manager Luis Enrique has also called up five extra players - including Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga - who will train away from the group in a 'parallel bubble' in case squad replacements are needed.
There is scope to delay the fixture by up to 48 hours should a team have fewer than 13 available players. If a national team is unable to fulfil a fixture within that time, their opponents will be handed a 3-0 victory.
The exact guidance on what would happen in the extreme circumstance of neither side being able to field a team is unclear.
UEFA have put various protocols in place so as to fend off disruption, including increasing squad sizes to 26, up from the traditional 23. But there will be desperate hopes in the Spanish and Swedish camp that no further positive Covid tests occur in the coming days.
All imagery: PA Images
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