The 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup is set to get underway on Saturday night and one National Team has had to leave the competition due to an outbreak of COVID-19 within the squad.
Concacaf announced Friday that Curacao has mutually agreed to depart the competition due to several positive cases within the squad. Guatemala will take Curacao’s place in the tournament, joining Mexico, El Salvador, and Trinidad & Tobago in Group A.
“Ahead of the start of the Gold Cup Group Stage, all competing national teams went through several rounds of testing and, unfortunately, the Curaçao delegation returned a significant number of positive results across their staff and players in the last round of testing,” a Concacaf statement read.
“All of the individuals were immediately isolated, and Concacaf and the Curaçao Football Federation are ensuring that they are being offered the necessary support. Concacaf and the Curacao Football Federation have made every effort to find a solution that would enable Curaçao to compete, however the health and safety of the Curaçao players and staff, and all participants in the tournament, must be prioritized.”
Guatemala was chosen due to it being the next highest ranked team from the Gold Cup Preliminary Round. The National Team will kick off group stage play on July 11 at Toyota Stadium against El Salvador.