Rangers could be set to lose defender Borna Barisic after one of his international team-mates tested positive for Covid-19 AFTER being substituted in their 3-3 draw with Turkey – and the Gers must ask serious questions of the Covid protocols in place.
Domagoj Vida was substituted at half-time in the 3-3 draw and subsequently discovered that his pre-match test has returned a positive result, raising concerns that Barisic may also have picked up the virus.
The entire Croatia squad, including Barisic, returned negative tests on Monday but Vida’s Wednesday morning test result came back positive and the 31-year-old was immediately isolated from the rest of the squad.
While the Croatian FA insist that everyone has complied with the UEFA Return to Play protocols, having players travel from various countries to meet up for an international friendly doesn’t seem to be the most sensible decision.
Clubs, generally, seem to have a pretty good handle on keeping players within their bubble and minimising the risk of someone picking up the virus – while also testing regularly.
International camps seem to have only served to leave clubs without important players for up to two weeks if they are forced into isolation.
Rangers must ask some serious questions over the effectiveness of the UEFA protocols when players are coming from all over to meet up for a week before returning to their respective clubs.
So far, it doesn’t appear that Barisic will miss any games – although subsequent testing may change that – however, it was an unnecessary risk and only gives further validation to calls for internationals to be suspended in the short term.
Whether Barisic contracts the virus or not, Rangers must surely have serious concerns over their player’s safety being compromised for such a pointless game.