There are likely to be more COVID-19 cases in the Spain squad, the Spanish FA (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales said on Tuesday after captain Sergio Busquets returned a positive test. The squad and coaching staff immediately went into isolation following Busquets` positive test on Sunday (June 6), meaning their under-21 team and coach stepped in to face Lithuania on Tuesday (June 8), claiming a 4-0 victory in a friendly.
Rubiales also criticised national broadcaster Television Espanola’s (TVE) decision not to broadcast the Lithuania game on their flagship La 1 channel, as originally planned, instead shifting the game to sister channel Teledeporte. “I’d hope they’d (TVE) treat the national team, a team for all Spaniards, with more love and respect,” Rubiales said.
“Especially at fragile times like now. We have one positive case, there could well be more positive cases, it’s probable there will be. But these players here deserve respect, as does the badge on their shirt.”
In the wake of Busquets’ positive test, Spain called up six senior players – Kepa Arrizabalaga, Raul Albiol, Carlos Soler, Brais Mendez, Pablo Fornals and Rodrigo Moreno – to form a parallel training bubble so they could be called upon for the upcoming European Championship if needs be.
The RFEF also said that an as yet unspecified number of under-21 players who played against Lithuania would be asked to remain in Madrid to join the parallel bubble. Spain face Sweden, who on Tuesday recorded two positive COVID-19 cases, in their Euro 2020 Group E opener next Monday.