London: European soccer’s governing body says it is confident Real Madrid’s Champions League clash with Manchester City will go ahead as planned next week despite one of the Spanish side’s players testing positive for COVID-19.
Real confirmed on Tuesday that forward Mariano Diaz had tested positive, casting doubt on his participation in the August 8 tie at the Etihad Stadium.
The recently-crowned La Liga winners further informed that the 26-year-old has put himself under self-isolation at home but also stated that he remains in ‘perfect health’.
“UEFA is in contact with the club and monitoring both the situation and decisions of the relevant Spanish authorities,” UEFA said in a statement to British media.
“We are confident that this case will not affect the regular staging of the match in question.”
Manchester City won the first leg 2-1 in their last-16 clash before the competition was suspended in March due to the health crisis. It is likely that 22-year-old Serbian striker Luka Jovic will have some role to play in the potential absence of Diaz against City.
Star striker Karim Benzema will once again lead the line in clash, having been the force behind Real juggernaut this season. He scored 21 goals in the league to help the team win their first LaLiga title since 2017 and 34th overall.
Spain has seen a surge in COVID-19 positives with thousands of new cases reported on a daily basis in the past week, taking its tally up to over 298,000 cases.