The Swiss women’s team and its coach Nils Nielsen saw their preparation for the second match of Euro 2022, Wednesday against Sweden, disrupted by mysterious gastrointestinal symptoms. A dozen players were placed in solitary confinement.
“If we can play 11 against 11, I would be happy”: the Swiss women’s team and its coach Nils Nielsen saw their preparation for the second Euro match on Wednesday (6 p.m.) against Sweden, disrupted by mysterious gastrointestinal symptoms.
Eight players and eleven staff members were placed in solitary confinement on Monday after experiencing these symptoms of unknown origin since Sunday, forcing management to cancel their morning training session, announced the Swiss federation.
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“Preparing for a match while in the bathroom is not ideal”
“Current facts do not determine the cause of the gastrointestinal problems. The symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea are substantial, but so far rather brief. Some already had only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all ( Monday) morning”, explained the doctor of the Swiss team, Martin Schober, in a statement released by the federation at midday.
During a press briefing by videoconference, coach Nils Nielsen, who ruled out any suspicion of Covid, described a “not ideal situation” to prepare for the meeting. “It’s a first for me,” he explained. “Preparing for a match while in the toilet is not ideal (…) We were able to organize a tactical meeting by video, but we can’t call it training when everyone is alone in their room”, he explained.
“15 fit players”
The “local authorities and UEFA” have imposed a 24-hour solitary confinement on the entire team, the coach continued, adding that the players not affected by the symptoms had been authorized to go out for a walk, but “with the mask and without speaking to anyone”.
“UEFA have warned us that as long as we have seven players available, we should play the match. If we don’t have any new cases in the next few hours, we can go and train (Tuesday) in Sheffield”, the place of the game,” said Nils Nielsen. “If we can play 11 against 11, I would be happy”.
The UEFA protocol relating to Covid-19, which allows a postponement of the match if a team does not have 13 players including a goalkeeper, was not applied in this case. The coach has indeed assured that a postponement of the meeting was “not an option” for the organizers. “We still have 15 suitable players. Whether it’s fair or not, it doesn’t matter, there’s nothing we can do about it.”
The Swiss were held in check on Saturday by Portugal (2-2) for their entry into the running in group C. They must play their second match against the Swedes, who are among the favorites of the competition