LIMA: Two Peru players have been ruled out of the South American World Cup qualifying match against Brazil after testing positive for Covid-19.

The Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) issued a statement Monday saying strikers Ral Ruidiaz and Alex Valera have not shown serious symptoms of the coronavirus and have remained in isolation since before the results were known.

The players did not take part in Monday’s final training session at Lima’s National stadium, where the game against the five-times world champions will be played.

“The players have not developed serious symptoms, to the relief of everyone,” the FPF said in a statement on Monday, adding that they had been isolated from the rest of the squad.

Ruidiaz, who played in the 2-2 draw at Paraguay last week, had been expected to be a starter for Tuesday’s game in Lima. Brazil lead the South American World Cup qualifiers after an opening 5-0 win over Bolivia.

The Peru-Brazil game will be played in an empty stadium because of coronavirus restrictions.

CONMEBOL, which governs South American football, has convinced most local authorities to lift quarantine measures for incoming players.

However, its decision to go ahead with the qualifying rounds has been viewed as controversial as more than half of all Covid-19 deaths recorded globally have come in the Americas.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2020

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