An outbreak of Covid-19 cases in the Uruguay squad is causing increasing alarm as captain Diego Godin became the 16th member to test positive for the virus on Friday after returning to his club.
The country’s health ministry fined the Uruguayan football federation $15,000 (12,650 euros) for “failure to respect health protocols” following the raft of infections that occurred as the national team assembled for two World Cup qualifiers.
Atletico Madrid are furious after two of their players tested positive, including Luis Suarez. The striker missed Tuesday’s 2-0 home defeat by Brazil as a result.
Suarez, along with Lucas Torreira, is also unavailable for Saturday’s game against his former club Barcelona.
Atletico president Enrique Cerezo criticised the laxity of the measures taken by the Uruguayan federation.
“They weren’t tested,” he told Cadena Ser radio Thursday. In Spain, “the players don’t shower. We monitor them before and after a match and training.”
According to Spanish media, La Liga intends to file a complaint with FIFA.
“I’m saddened that we’re going on a witch hunt. We’ve been careful but we’re not untouchable,” said Uruguay assistant coach Celso Otero.
Health minister Daniel Salinas was troubled by a photo posted to Twitter on Saturday showing nine players gathered round a barbecue. Five of them have since tested positive.
“There’s been a certain lack of concern,” the minister told reporters.
Defender Matias Vina was the first player to test positive after last week’s
3-0 win over Colombia. He plays for Brazilian club Palmeiras, who have reported 17 cases of coronavirus.