Coronavirus fears prompt River Plate to refuse to play Copa match
Marcelo Gallardo's side were due to face Atlètico Tucumàn in the opening game of the 2020 Copa de la Superliga at the Estadio El Monumental in Nuñez (Buenos Aires).
2019 Libertadores and runners-up in the SuperLiga Argentina, River Plate were scheduled to kick-off their 2020 Copa de la Superliga campaign at home to Atlètico Tucumán on Saturday night in Buenos Aires with the game set to take place behind closed doors.
Despite the impact of the Covid-19 virus in the South American nation yet to reach the same levels of positive cases as experienced in many other parts of the planet with 34 positive cases as of Saturday (March 14), it was decided by the governing body behind the Copa de la Superliga to stage all games behind closed doors as a cautionary measure.
River Plate stated that as a consequence of recommendations by the WHO (World Heath Organisation) after centre back Thomas Gutierrez showed potential symptoms of catching the virus, the club would quarantine the squad and offered staff the possibility of working from home and concluded that as a result the club would not field a team for the opening Copa de la Superliga clash.
Full Club Atlètico River Plate statement on Covid-19
Following the suggestions of the World Health Organization and attentive to the different resolutions of the national government and the City of Buenos Aires in relation to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), River Plate reports that the Club will remain closed in its entirety to from Saturday March 14 for an undetermined time.
With this measure, the Club seeks to safeguard the health of its members, employees and the thousands of people who attend the different activities carried out at the Institution daily.
The Human Resources Department will coordinate with its staff forms of work in home office mode when this is possible and will give leave to those who cannot fulfil their tasks remotely.
As for professional football, the Club considers that the competition involves severe risks to the health of the professional team and all those involved in an official match. The fact that today one of our players has shown symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19) confirms the warned risks and forces us to become aware of the aforementioned consequences, beyond the fact that the diagnosis has not been confirmed and that Thomas Gutiérrez is evolving favourably. In view of this, River Plate has decided that, due to reasons of force majeure, it will not appear in the match on Saturday March 14 vs. Atlético Tucumán.
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