Venezuela players miss practice because of COVID protocols


SANTIAGO, Chile (AP)Venezuela players have been stopped from training in Santiago ahead of Thursday’s World Cup qualifying game against Chile because of COVID-19 protocols.

The Venezuela soccer federation issued a statement Tuesday saying all of its players had shown negative tests for the coronavirus upon arrival in Chile and again after being tested at the team hotel.

Chilean media reported some Venezuelan players had difficulties producing documents showing they had been vaccinated and weren’t immediately allowed to leave the hotel.

The reports added that the Venezuelans were later allowed to leave the hotel, but chose to stay inside.

In a post on Twitter, Venezuelan soccer federation vice-president Jose Antonio Quintero said: ”The points must be played on the pitch, not off the pitch.”

Venezuela is last in the 10-team South American qualifying tournament with seven points. Chile is in eighth spot with 10 points.

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