Five players from Venezuela's national team due to face hosts Brazil in the opening game of the Copa America tournament this coming Sunday tested positive for covid-19, posing new troubles to the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol).
The tournament, which was to have been co-hosted by Colombia and Argentina and was rescheduled to Brazil due to political unrest and the coronavirus pandemic, was facing a new issue: what if matches could not be played because most players were diagnosed with the Sars-Cov-2 virus?
To answer that threat, Conmebol made a last-minute change to the rules. There will be no cap on substitutions. Changes to the squads are now unlimited and the players of the 28-man list can be replaced if necessary.
Therefore, Venezuelan coach José Peseiro has been authorized now to summon five replacements for those who have ruled out of the event due to the disease, although the lab samples are under review to ensure there were no false-positive results.
In addition to the players, five other members of the Venezuelan delegation have been isolated in their hotel rooms after testing positive as well.
Brazilian authorities now fear that after the Venezuelan case, other outbreaks may occur within the eight other delegations. As per the protocols in force, each delegation member must be housed in an individual room and tested every 48 hours.