Champions League coronavirus threat: Atletico Madrid plans in doubt after 'two players test positive for Covid-19'
Atletico Madrid’s preparations for their Champions League quarterfinal against RB Leipzig have been thrown into doubt after two players tested positive for Covid-19, according to reports in Spain.
Atletico are set to face Germans Leipzig in Lisbon on Thursday in the short-format tournament to determine the winners of this season’s UEFA club showpiece.
However, Atletico announced on Sunday that two individuals due to travel to Portugal had tested positive for coronavirus and were now self-isolating.
The club did not name the two individuals or indicate whether they were members of the playing, coaching or support staff, but reports in Spain now claim that the persons concerned are in fact players.
In their statement on Sunday, Atletico said they were following the correct protocols and would retest players and staff before any departure to Portugal.
“Yesterday, Saturday 8 August, all members of the first team and the club’s travelling party to Lisbon underwent PCR tests at our Majadahonda training ground, as required by UEFA protocol to be permitted to participate in the quarter-finals of the Champions League,” the statement read.
Comunicado oficial: La expedición a Lisboa se someterá a nuevas pruebas PCR tras la aparición de dos casos positivos https://t.co/GztEhGvQQZ
— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) August 9, 2020
“Among the results revealed today are two positive tests. The individuals are now self-isolating in their respective homes, and their positive tests were immediately communicated to the Spanish and Portuguese health authorities, UEFA, the Spanish Football Federation, the Portuguese Federation and Spain’s National Sports Council.
“In addition, the relevant protocol for these cases has been activated, requiring new PCR tests to be carried out on the first team and members of the travelling party to Lisbon, and the close contacts of those who have tested positive.
“This motivates changes to training times and the arrangements for travel to, and accommodation in, the Portuguese capital. The club will coordinate the new schedules with UEFA and as soon as there is a new plan it will be made public.”
Diego Simeone’s team booked their spot in the last eight with a famous win over Champions League holders Liverpool at Anfield in March, just before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down sport around the world.
Atletico went unbeaten in 11 games after the restart in La Liga, helping them clinch third spot in the table, ahead of Sevilla on goal difference.
Leipzig are first-time Champions League quarterfinalists and reached the last eight by defeating last year’s finalists Tottenham 4-0 on aggregate.
The last eight of this year’s tournament is being played in a shortened one-leg knockout tournament in Portugal, with the quarterfinals beginning when Paris Saint-Germain face Atalanta on Wednesday.