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Quarantine waived for traveling South American soccer teams


By Daniela Desantis

ASUNCION (Reuters) - The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) agreed with national governments on Thursday that teams traveling around the continent to compete in club competitions do not need to quarantine for 14 days before playing matches.

The Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, and the Copa Sudamericana, akin to the Europa League, are to restart on Sept. 15 and Oct. 27, respectively, with 64 teams from 10 nations taking part.

With some countries still restricting the movement of foreigners and quarantine limits in place there was confusion about how the tournaments would proceed.

Conmebol said competing teams will be allowed to spend a maximum of 72 hours in another country and must restrict their movements to only go between airport, hotel, training ground and stadium.

The teams must follow “strict sanitary norms” and host nations must train hotel staff to ensure a minimum of contact with the visiting staff and players.

The organization also said a new FIFA rule that allows five substitutions per game was ratified for both the Libertadores and Sudamericana.

South America has been hit hard by the new coronavirus pandemic, with more than 4 million cases and almost 150,000 deaths.

(Reporting by Daniela Desantis in Asuncion; Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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