Mon, 26 Jul 2021

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Thirteen Venezuela players, coaching staff and officials have tested positive for COVID-19 on the eve of their Copa America opener against hosts Brazil, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said on Saturday.

A statement on the entity's official website said those infected had been isolated and would remain under medical supervision.

"[They] must stay in quarantine, in accordance with local protocols, and cannot be in contact with anyone in or outside of the Venezuela camp," CONMEBOL said.

The entity added that Sunday's match in Brasilia would go ahead as planned.

The Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF) can replace any of the affected players after CONMEBOL ruled on Friday that there would be no restrictions on squad changes during the tournament.

The FVF did not immediately disclose the names of those who tested positive.

Brazil was confirmed as the Copa America host on May 31, less than 24 hours after CONMEBOL said Argentina would no longer stage the tournament because of surging coronavirus cases in the country.

Colombia was stripped of its co-host status earlier in May due to violent anti-government protests.

According to official figures, Brazil has had more than 17.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases, 486,000 of which have been fatal. The United States is the only country with a higher death toll.

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