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Montevideo, March 3rd 2024 - 06:28 UTC



Copa America: Chile players skip health bubble in major scandal

Monday, June 21st 2021 - 09:14 UTC
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The players involved will be fined but not barred from playing The players involved will be fined but not barred from playing

A Brazilian stylist broke through the Chilean squad's health bubble and players uploaded to social media photographs of them having their hair cut in Cuiabá in what has been so far the biggest scandal at the Copa America football tournament where over 60 cases of covid-19 have so far been detected.

Midfielders Arturo Vidal and Gary Medel are the ones whose faces can be seen in the pictures posted on the internet but the number of customers the hairdresser may have served remains uncertain.

“The Chilean Football Federation and the coaching staff of the Chilean Adult Male National Team acknowledge the breach of the health bubble of the delegation that participates in the Copa America in Brazil, with the unauthorized entry of a hairdresser who, despite having with a negative PCR test, should have not come into contact with the players. Those involved will be financially sanctioned,” the Copa America organizers said in a statement.

”We regret what caused this situation and we inform you that all the members of the delegation had a negative PCR test this Saturday, June 19,” the document went on.

Chile is to play Uruguay Monday at the Arena Pantanal Stadium. Those involved in the incident face a fine of up to the US $ 30,000, according to the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol), which has already started an inquiry into the incident.

Chile's Uruguayan coach Martín Lasarte said the case was “a serious error that could have been solved in another way; you have to pay a price and you pay.”

He added that “there is an important part in learning things. We are living an important stage of life and we have to be an example. I think everything influences, I do not know if negatively or positively. We will see that tomorrow,” he added.

Lasarte said that the “only situation” they had to deal with was the entry of a hairdresser into the bubble and ruled out other versions, about rumours of sexual encounters that could be found on social media.

Lasarte also insisted the continuity of the players involved in the incident was never in question.

Chilean Captain Claudio Bravo admitted “we know the mistake we've made and we accept it. Those who participated in this bear the consequences of the expenses,” he said.

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