Earlier this week, Bosnia and Herzegovina have confirmed that two of their members, a coach and a player, have tested positive for coronavirus ahead of their Euro 2020 semi-finals play-off against Northern Ireland. Bosnia and Herzegovina assistant coach Rusmir Cviko and winger Haris Duljevic both have contracted the virus and will be out for the crucial game.
The Bosnian Football Federation said they returned positive tests before the squad gathered in Sarajevo. “The results of regular testing for coronavirus, which was performed before today’s gathering of the national team, showed that Bosnian national team member Haris Duljevic positive for Sars-Cov-2.,” a statement said. “A positive test result also arrived for assistant coach Rusmir Cviko.”
The statement also added, “Neither of them show symptoms of Covid-19 disease, but they will enter self-isolation.” The national team also announced some changes in the squad following the injury of Elvir Koljic, with Milan Duric called in to take over his post. Despite the two positive cases among the home team, the fixture has been given all the clear to go ahead as planned.
Around 2,000 home fans will be allowed to attend the game after getting clearance by the Bosnian government. The winner of the semi-final in Sarajevo will face either Slovakia or Republic of Ireland for a place in next summer’s rearranged Euro 2020 finals. The hosts have failed to qualify for back-to-back major tournaments and lost 2-1 to Poland last time out, fresh on the back of holding Italy to a 1-1 draw.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland drew 1-1 at Romania last month in their UEFA Nations League opener. The visitors have lost four of their last seven matches, shipping 19 goals across those seven games, including 12 in their last three. Northern Ireland also set to play against Austria (October 11) and Norway (October 14) in UEFA Nations League.
The winners of the playoff semi-final in October 8 will go on to host either Ireland Slovakia in a playoff final on November 12.The winners of the playoff finals will complete the teams that will compete in the postponed Euro 2020 next year. The 32-team Euro 2020, in celebration of the governing body’s 60thanniversary, was due to take place between June 12 and July 12 in countries all across the continent.