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Italy U21 squad isolating after two positive Covid-19 tests ahead of Ireland qualifier

Jim Crawford’s side are due to face the Italians next Tuesday, as they go in search of a place at the European Championships.

The Italy and Ireland U21 players after their last meeting 12 months ago.
The Italy and Ireland U21 players after their last meeting 12 months ago.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

TWO ITALY U21 players have tested positive for coronavirus, sending the team into isolation before their European Championship qualifiers against Iceland and the Republic of Ireland.

Italy are due to play Iceland away in Friday’s Group 1 qualifier, before a meeting with Jim Crawford’s Ireland in Pisa next Tuesday.

The two “totally asymptomatic” Italian players had tested negative on Sunday when they joined the squad, but a second test on Tuesday came back positive.

“The training scheduled for today has been cancelled and the team has been in isolation since last night, awaiting the decisions of the health authorities,” the Italian football federation (FIGC) said.

The players were not named but Gazzetta Dello Sport reported that they were Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni and Atalanta substitute goalkeeper Marco Carnesecchi.

Ireland are in a great position to qualify for the finals thanks to an excellent campaign thus far under now-senior manager Stephen Kenny. The Boys in Green sit three points ahead of Italy on 16 points with one game more played.

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They are scheduled to take on Iceland at home and Luxembourg away in their final two qualifiers next month.

Italian football has been hit by multiple coronavirus cases in the past week after a cluster of 22 in Genoa, whose Serie A match against Torino was postponed.

Napoli failed to turn up for their match against Juventus on Sunday night on the instructions of local health authorities after two positive cases, and could forfeit the game 3-0.

© – AFP, 2020 with additional reporting from Ben Blake

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