Ivan Perišić tests positive for Covid-19
Croatia dealt a significant blow as their often reliable winger tests positive for coronavirus
The announcement was made by the Croatian Football Federation (CFF) announced on Saturday evening. The team is set to face Spain in the round of 16 on Monday.
While the Spaniards hadn't looked overly convincing at the start of the tournament, they finished the group stage with a flourish, netting five against Slovakia. Regardless, even with their quality all over the pitch, Croatia will be gutted to be without one of their main outlets.
The Internazionale winger has scored twice already in Euro 2020, one of which came in the 3-1 win over Scotland - the victory that secured them a place in the last 16, finishing as runners-up to England in Group D.
The 32-year-old will now be will unavailable for Monday’s match in Copenhagen: the first and what could also be their only game in the knockout stage. While this is to by no means suggest that Croatia can't play without him - they can and have - they haven't looked at their 2018 levels and this could further hamper their chances.
Fortunately, the CFF said all the other players, staff and members of the delegation had tested negative. A statement on the CFF’s website read: “During Saturday evening, Croatian Football Federation received the results of regular testing for the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which showed that player Ivan Perisic has tested positive for novel coronavirus.
“Medical staff isolated Ivan from the other members of the national team and immediately and thoroughly informed competent epidemiological authorities about the situation, providing evidence of complying with all the necessary measures aimed at protection against the spread of coronavirus.
“Perisic will spend 10 days in self-isolation and during that period will not participate at the matches of the Croatian national team. All other players, staff and delegation members tested negative.
“National team will be travelling from Pula on Sunday 27 June with a charter flight to Copenhagen, where it plays a round-of-16 match of the UEFA EURO 2020 against Spain on Monday.”