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Llorente adds to Spain’s pre-Euro COVID woes

Spain defender Diego Llorente has tested positive for the coronavirus, with the Spanish football federation president saying there are likely to be more COVID-19 cases in the squad after captain Sergio Busquets returned a positive test on Sunday.

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Tuesday’s announcement on Llorente adds further turmoil ahead of the European Championship after Spain’s squad and coaching staff immediately went into isolation following Busquets’ positive test on Sunday.

That meant that Spain’s under-21 team and coach stepped in to face Lithuania on Tuesday, claiming a 4-0 victory in a friendly.

RFEF president Luis Rubiales inferred that there will be more positive tests while he criticised national broadcaster Television Espanola’s (TVE) decision not to broadcast the Lithuania game on their flagship La 1 channel. The game was shifted to sister channel Teledeporte.

“I’d hope they’d [TVE] treat the national team, a team for all Spaniards, with more love and respect,” Rubiales said. “Especially at fragile times like now. We have one positive case, there could well be more positive cases, it’s probable there will be. But these players here deserve respect, as does the badge on their shirt.”

In the wake of Busquets’ positive test, Spain called up six senior players — Kepa Arrizabalaga, Raul Albiol, Carlos Soler, Brais Mendez, Pablo Fornals and Rodrigo Moreno — to form a parallel training bubble so they could be called upon for the Euro tournament if needs be.

The RFEF also said that an as yet unspecified number of under-21 players who played against Lithuania would be asked to remain in Madrid to join the parallel bubble.

Spain face Sweden, who on Tuesday recorded two positive COVID-19 cases, in their Euro 2020 Group E opener next Monday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Sourced from Man United

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