“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 match of the Euros, Wednesday against Sweden, disturbed by mysterious gastro symptoms -intestinal forcing her into solitary confinement on Monday. Eight players and eleven staff members have been placed in solitary confinement after experiencing these symptoms of unknown origin since Sunday, forcing management to cancel their Monday morning training session, the Swiss federation announced.
“The current facts do not allow to determine the cause of the gastrointestinal problems. Symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea are substantial, but so far rather brief. Some already had only mild symptoms or no symptoms this (Monday) morning, ”explained the Swiss team doctor, 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” 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 warned us that as long as we have seven players available, we should play the game. If we have no new cases in the next few hours, we can go to train (Tuesday) in Sheffield “, the place of the meeting, said Nils Nielsen. “If we can play 11 against 11, I would be happy”.
The technician assured that there was “no suspicion” concerning possible cases of Covid-19. “But since the Covid, you have to register everything” with the authorities, he said. 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, has therefore not been 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 https://www.lefigaro.fr/sports/football/euro-feminin-match-nul-spectaculaire-entre-la-suisse-et-le-portugal-20220709#:~:text =Euro%20f%C3%A9minin%20%3A%20spectacular%20match%20nul%20between%20Switzerland%20and%20Portugal,-By%20Le%20Figaro&text=The%20Swiss%20and%20the%20Portuguese,the Euro%20f%C3%A9minin%20de%20football.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.