Another star footballer out with Covid as Dutch women prepare for Portugal
Attacker Vivianne Miedema has tested positive for the coronavirus. She is the second player on the Dutch national team to test positive at the European Football Championship in England. That means the Netherlands will face Portugal with some major setbacks in the second match of the championship. Oranje opened the European Championship on Saturday with a draw against Sweden (1-1). Portugal faced Switzerland and also ended in a draw (2-2)
Miedema is in isolation, the KNVB reports. “When she no longer has symptoms and tests negative, she can rejoin the selection.”
It is the fourth setback for the Netherlands. Jackie Groen is also in isolation after a positive Covid-19 test. Goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal dropped out of the championship with a shoulder injury. Aniek Nouwen, who was injured in the opening game against Sweden like Van Veenendaal, is not fit for Wednesday’s match against Portugal.
“She’s getting better, but [Wednesday] is too soon,” national coach Mark Parsons said about Nouwen’s injury at a press conference on Tuesday. “I can’t say anything about Sunday yet. We look at it from day to day.” On Sunday, Oranje will play its last group match against Switzerland.
With Miedema, Oranje is missing “an important leader,” Parsons said. “She can bring people into the game. We will miss that, but other players can do that too.” The team had already lost its captain, Van Veenendaal. Parsons already has an idea of who will lead the team now but would not mention names. “We will first discuss that with the team and the player herself.”
“We have to move on, and we are moving on,” Parsons said. “This is a big blow, and the next match will be another challenge. With Portugal, we will meet an organized opponent. Tonight we will discuss all the details, but tomorrow we will be ready.” Parsons added that he’s never been so unlucky with so many setbacks in such a short period.
Reporting by ANP