Slovakia coach Stefan Tarkovic said that the national side was working with authorities and following the guidelines set by UEFA to check any further spread.
One of the most feared scenarios leading up to the Euros might have been realized as Slovakian defender Denis Vavro has tested positive for COVID-19 along with a staff member of the side. Dealing with the pandemic was one of the big question marks leading up to Euro 2020. Especially with multiple nations hosting matches this time around, it would be more difficult to keep the footballers safe from the virus. Slovakia coach Stefan Tarkovic confirmed the news on Thursday. It will be interesting to see how UEFA will deal with the situation. Vavro did not play in Slovakia’s first match of the tournament against Poland.
The 25-year-old defender had spent the first half of last season at Serie A club Lazio, before moving to La Liga side Huesca in the January transfer window. The Slovakian coach said that Vavra had no symptoms and faced no health issues. “Denis has absolutely no symptoms and no health problems,” Tarkovic said. Both the defender and the staff member are in isolation and will likely leave the Slovakian camp. He was tested at St Petersburg in Russia on Wednesday.
Tarkovic said that the national side was working with the Russian health authorities and following the guidelines set by UEFA to check any further spread of the virus. “They subsequently tested the entire logistics team and the people who take care of us, and they found more positive people, including our bus driver,” he said.
“It’s hard to avoid the virus really,” he continued. “I’m terribly sorry that a player won’t be able to take part in the games to come because of COVID-19,” he concluded.
UEFA states that teams with less than 13 players could have their game ‘rescheduled within the next 48 hours of the date of the relevant match’ and possibly even at a different venue.
“Any additional player called up to meet the minimum of 13 players requires that an equivalent number of quarantined players are definitively withdrawn from the 26 players list,” the European football body said.
Slovakia sit at the top of Group E after winning their first match of the tournament against Poland. They will face Sweden next before facing the toughest team on paper in the group, Spain.
Slovakia beat Poland in a fairly even contest in their first match in Euro 2020. The scoreline at the end of the match read 2-1 in the Sloavkians’ favour. An own goal from Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and a 69th-minute strike from Milan Skriniar handed the Slovakians all three points. Karol Linetty had equalized for the Poles in the 46th minute, but the sending off of Grzegorz Krychowiak left Poland with a very steep mountain to climb to hold on to a point.