Norway will send an alternate team to face Austria in Vienna this wednesday at League of Nations to save the quarantine dictated by the authorities to the national team after detecting a positive for coronavirus, the Football Federation of this Nordic country reported on Monday.
UEFA suspended Romania-Norway yesterday after the Norwegian government prevented the squad trained by Lars Lagerbäck and the rest of the coaching staff from traveling to keep the ten-day quarantine after having been in contact with full-back Omar Elabdellaoui, who had given positive on Friday.
The new selection will be made up of players who compete in foreign clubs, except one who has already passed the coronavirus, and will be led by the coach of the U21 team, Leif Gunnar Smerud, explained the federation, which will give the list later.
The initial plan was for players to travel directly to Vienna, but the idea was abandoned by Austria’s entry restrictions for the coronavirus.
The players will travel to Oslo, stay in an airport hotel in solitary confinement, undergo a test and fly tomorrow on a charter to Vienna, according to a model approved by the Norwegian health authorities.
“It has been a tough process, but we are happy that the match can be played, both from a sporting point of view and from our obligations to UEFA and the tournament,” federation general secretary Pål Bjerketvedt said in a statement. .
The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Committee must make a decision in accordance with the special rules applicable to competitive matches of national teams.
The Norwegian Federation had publicly criticized the government’s ban, noting that it had initially received a green light from the Oslo infection control director and the Norwegian Health Directorate and that it would have been possible to travel in compliance with health regulations.
“We are very disappointed that the authorities are forcing us to stay at home. The other 54 UEFA nations are playing international matches this week, except for Norway. This is very detrimental to the national team’s short-term and long-term ambitions.” yesterday the players on the official website of the federation.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg defended the decision, noting that no exceptions can be made with football.
“If we had not done it, we would have been less strict with football than with the rest of Norwegians,” said Solberg, noting that in Norway close contacts of people who have tested positive are forced to be quarantined and that this is one of the the reasons why contagion in this country remains low.