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The Scandinavians were meant to face Romania on Sunday night in League B Group 1 but the game was cancelled on Saturday because of a positive Covid-19 test in the Norway camp.
No other players failed a test so, in accordance with UEFA rules, the rest of the squad were free to travel to Romania but the Norwegian government wouldn't allow the team to leave the country in order to play the game.
Other countries have loosened quarantine rules for elite sport, with the British government allowing the Iceland team to travel from Denmark despite a travel ban for everyone else from there, but Norway wouldn't do the same.
"The national team is in quarantine, and we are strict. It is the cornerstone of the measures that means that we have not had to shut down as much as other countries," Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.
"If the national team had been granted an exception, the pressure would have come in all other areas. The quarantine of infection is at the core of our work to prevent the spread."
In an attempt to make sure their top of the table clash with Austria on Wednesday doesn't go the same the side has had to be completely replaced.
No player in the original squad or who is based in Norway can be called up to the new squad, "We are working with an alternative team, yes, but we're not sure if we will make it," Norwegian FA spokesperson Christer Madsen told Reuters via text message.
The Norwegian FA are having to call up a new squad of entirely foreign-based players (who weren't in the initial squad) so that Wednesday's game against Austria can go ahead. Ruben Gabrielsen, who plays for Toulouse in Ligue 2, is one of the players called up. https://t.co/fJxODChkEk- Lars Sivertsen (@larssivertsen) November 15, 2020
Norway are likely to be handed a loss for the first game being cancelled and a win for Austria over Northern Ireland on Sunday would put them in pole position in the group.
However the thrown together Norwegian side would still have a chance to top the group when they face Austria on Wednesday.
A win by two goals or more would mean they top the group. Topping the group would mean promotion to League A for the Nations League and give them an extra chance at qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
Players in the original squad are able to go back to the countries they play in and complete their quarantines there, although in theory there's no reason their clubs couldn't play them next weekend.
We wait to see how the new squad perform.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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