Just days ahead of the European Championships kick off on June 11, several players have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The tournament is set to take place in 11 major cities across a month's time in the middle of the pandemic. The 16th edition of the Euros were postponed from 2020 after the virus outbreak in March last year led to a worldwide lockdown.
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A congested international calendar may not allow postponement of matches and the European body had laid out four conditions to help matches go ahead as scheduled.
In light of recent COVID-19 positive cases, UEFA has announced protocol for teams hit by virus outbreaks during the course of the Championship.
1) In case players from a team have to be placed under mandatory quarantine or have to self-isolate, the scheduled match can go ahead provided the side has at least 13 players available, including at least one goalkeeper. All 13 players should have tested negative for COVID-19 and must be in compliance of UEFA protocol.
2) If the team in question is unable to field a minimum of 13 players including a goalkeeper, UEFA can reschedule the match to a later date and have power to reassign the fixture to a venue in a neutral country. The previously decided 'home' team for the fixture will nevertheless handle organisation and all related match costs.
3) If the match cannot be rescheduled, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will take a decision on the matter. Either the team responsible for the fixture not going forward will be declared to have to forfeit the game [0-3 loss] or the match outcome will be decided by drawing of lots [i.e. win 1-0, loss 0-1 or draw 0-0].
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4) If any member of the appointed referee team for a match tests positive for Covid-19, UEFA may appoint replacement match officials who may be of the same nationality as one of the participating teams.
In the opening match of the tournament, Group A's Italy takes on Turkey at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.