Chile to quarantine football stars Sanchez, Vidal

Chilean soccer stars Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal will be quarantined when they return to their home country from Europe to play in a World Cup qualifier this month, Chile’s health minister said on Tuesday.

The players – who are signed to European clubs – are due to fly first to Uruguay for a World Cup qualifier on March 26 and then to Chile to face Colombia.

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Italy announced a quarantine and advised against all but non-essential travel until April 3 after its death toll from coronavirus jumped by 168 to 631 this week.

“We do not make any distinction by people’s profession because nobody is immune to this virus and indeed the quarantine determined today for Italy applies to everyone,” said Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, according to local news website Emol.

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“Of course, if these players want to work out on a machine in their homes, or all be quarantined together at Juan Pinto Duran (the national football stadium), then that’s their call.”

A source at the Football Federation of Chile told Emol it had been told nothing about quarantine plans for the players.

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“So far there are no changes to our plans,” a source said. “What the minister says comes as a surprise.”

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