The 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup got underway on Saturday night and one National Team has had to leave the competition due to an outbreak of COVID-19 within the squad.
Bermuda Coach & Captain
CONCACAF announced Friday that Curacao has mutually agreed to depart the competition due to several positive cases within the squad. Guatemala took Curacao’s place in the tournament, joining Mexico, El Salvador, and Trinidad & Tobago in Group A.
“Ahead of the start of the Gold Cup Group Stage, all competing national teams went through several rounds of testing and, unfortunately, the Curacao delegation returned a significant number of positive results across their staff and players in the last round of testing,” a CONCACAF statement read.
“All of the individuals were immediately isolated, and CONCACAF and the Curacao Football Federation are ensuring that they are being offered the necessary support. CONCACAF and the Curacao Football Federation have made every effort to find a solution that would enable Curacao to compete, however the health and safety of the Curacao players and staff, and all participants in the tournament, must be prioritized.”
Guatemala was chosen due to it being the next highest-ranked team from the Gold Cup Preliminary Round, they had a goal difference of +4, with Bermuda having the same goal difference of +4, but Guatemala conceded just one goal, while Bermuda conceded 5.
Meanwhile, five Haitian players and one coach have tested positive for Covid-19 in the build-up to the Gold Cup but the team's tournament opener against the United States, Haiti defeated Bermuda 4 – 1 to advance.