Venezuela’s preparations for the Copa America have been thrown into chaos after eight players tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the team’s opener with hosts Brazil on Sunday.
The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) made local health authorities aware of the diagnosis on Friday with Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Quiroga confirming that the total number stood at 12 members of the country’s delegation, including players and staff.
"All are asymptomatic, isolated in individual rooms, and are being monitored by the CONMEBOL team and local health officials," confirmed a statement from the Health Secretariat in Brasilia.
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Venezuela have claimed the number stands at 11 and are aiming to call up a further 16 players for the month-long competition.
The country’s preparations had already suffered a blow after defenders Wilker Angel and Rolf Feltscher tested positive and did not travel with the squad on Thursday.
CONMEBOL is yet to confirm if the match, which is the first fixture of the 10-team tournament scheduled to run until July 10, will go ahead at the Mane Garrincha stadium.
The Copa America was moved to Brazil at the eleventh hour after Argentina were stropped of hosting responsibilities due to a significant surge in COVID-19 numbers there.
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