Spain squad to be COVID vaccinated by army

Clubs

The Spain squad will be vaccinated by the country’s army ahead of Euro 2020, the national broadcaster RTVE has reported, after two members of the squad tested positive for COVID-19.

Captain Sergio Busquetspositive test result on Sunday threw Spain’s preparations into disarray a week before the start of the tournament.

The vaccination was finally approved by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, RTVE said, just five days before Spain play their first European Championship match.

The decision came after pressure from the Spanish football federation and the Ministry of Culture and Sport over the last week.

Spain are due to play Sweden in Seville on Monday in their first group game, before facing Poland and Slovakia.

It is not yet clear which vaccine the national team will receive, whether one or two doses will be required, and when they will be administered.

Spain sources told ESPN that they were yet to receive official confirmation of the decision and had been asking for players to be vaccinated for the last two months, citing the example of the country’s Olympic athletes, who have already received it.

The national team’s players have remained in quarantine this week, training individually at their base outside Madrid and being subjected to daily testing, with defender Diego Llorente the second player to test positive on Tuesday.

A “parallel bubble” has been set up, with six extra players — Kepa Arrizabalaga, Raul Albiol, Rodrigo Moreno, Carlos Soler, Brais Mendez and Pablo Fornals — training separately as a contingency plan in the event of a wider outbreak.

As an additional precaution, they were joined on Wednesday by eleven members of Spain’s under-21 squad.

They had recorded a 4-0 friendly win over Lithuania a day earlier in what had been intended as the country’s final warm-up match ahead of Euro 2020.

Sixteen players made their senior debuts in that game, a Spanish record, having been called back from their holidays to take part.

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