UEFA on Saturday cancelled the Nations League match between Romania and Norway after Norwegian authorities banned the squad from travelling to Bucharest due to a Covid-19 case.
“The match cannot be played,” UEFA said on its Nations League website.
Earlier on Saturday, Norway’s health minister had ordered the squad not to travel to Romania for Sunday’s game after full-back Omar Elabdellaoui, who plays for Galatasaray in Turkey, tested positive for coronavirus.
The minister insisted the Norwegian federation respect the country’s quarantine rules, which recommend isolation in case of contact with a positive test.
“If the federation chooses to operate in a legal grey area, and in particular to undermine one of the most important tools at our disposal to deal with the pandemic, which is to quarantine when you have been in contact with an infected person, then I will react strongly,” Bent Hoie told public broadcaster NRK television.
After the discovery of the positive test, the federation cancelled its departure for Romania but still wanted to obtain the approval of the authorities to leave and play the tie on Sunday followed by a final group game against Austria.
Norway share the lead of their group with the Austrians.
In a letter to the minister, published on its website, the Norwegian federation said it feared “the consequences of not taking part in these matches” if they were forced to withdraw.
On Wednesday, a friendly match between Norway and Israel had also been cancelled due to the discovery of a case of Covid-19 in the Israeli squad.
With just over 27,000 cases and 294 deaths, Norway has escaped the worst of the pandemic in Europe.