A 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying game between the Czech Republic and Belarus was postponed on Tuesday after several players on the visiting team tested positive for the coronavirus in Prague. (More Football News)
UEFA said three Belarusian players were positive and three others must isolate as close contacts. The match could be postponed by a day. Belarus would need 13 players, including a goalkeeper, to play.
The Czech football federation said the Belarusian team is being retested. Based on the results, organizers will consult with UEFA about a new date for the game. The federation said the whole team tested negative on arrival in the Czech Republic on Saturday but a repeated test revealed the three positive cases.
The Czechs were scheduled to play Belarus in the northeastern city of Opava. The hosts are third in Group C with five points, one more than Belarus, which has a game in hand. The Netherlands leads the group with 11 points, with Iceland in second with five.
Separately, Belarusian soccer association head Vladimir Bazanov and his wife were reportedly detained by Czech police.
Police declined to confirm, saying only that two foreigners have been detained on suspicion they entered Czech territory without proper documents and in violation of the country's coronavirus restrictions. Bazanov is an ally of President Alexander Lukashenko.
“The supporters of dictator Lukashenko are not welcomed in the Czech Republic,” Jan Bartosek, deputy speaker of the Czech parliament's lower house, wrote on Twitter.