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Twelve Venezuelans Infected by COVID-19 Before Copa America Match

SAO PAULO — A dozen Venezuela players and coaching staff have tested positive for COVID-19 a day before their Copa America opener against the host in Brasilia, Brazilian health authorities said on Saturday.

The health secretariat of the Federal District, which includes Brasilia, said in a statement that all of the infected people were isolated in a hotel. None of the Venezuelans were named.

CONMEBOL has not said if the match against Brazil on Sunday at Mané Garrincha Stadium will proceed as scheduled or be delayed.

“They are all asymptomatic, isolated in single rooms and are being monitored by the team of CONMEBOL” and local specialists, the statement said.

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CONMEBOL has not responded to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

Venezuela arrived in Brazil on Friday. One day earlier, two players tested positive for COVID-19, Wilker Ángel and Rolf Feltscher. They did not come to Brazil, the emergency host of the tournament after Colombia and Argentina were pulled.

Brazil has the second-most recorded deaths from the coronavirus in the world, more than 480,000. President Jair Bolsonaro, a critic of social distancing policies, is the main advocate for the Copa America, though it will not be attended by spectators.

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