The FFC said no player or official tested positive for COVID-19 after the incident, but admitted the error and apologized in a short statement.
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In a statement, the federation indicated that it “recognizes the violation of the sanitary bubble of the team participating in the Copa America, with the unauthorized entry of a barber who, despite his negative PCR test, would not have not had to make contact with the players ”.
The FFC did not give the number or names of the players involved, but said they would be fined.
“We regret what brought us to this situation and we inform that all members of the team tested negative for the virus on Saturday,” said the federation.
Chilean coach Martin Lasarte told a press conference that his players made “a big mistake”.
“It was a mistake, a recklessness, but it’s over now,” said Lasarte, adding that all players remain eligible for Chile’s next game against Uruguay. He did not specify when the barber visited the Chilean team hotel.
The news came at the end of the first week of a Copa America that was beset by incidents related to COVID-19.
Four of the 10 teams – Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela – have seen players or officials self-isolate due to positive tests. One of the Peruvian team’s physical trainers tested positive for COVID-19 in Lima.
Brazil agreed to host the tournament less than two weeks before it started after Argentina pulled out due to an increase in COVID-19 cases there.
Brazilian far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has agreed to take responsibility despite the large number of COVID-19 cases there as well.
On Saturday, the total death toll in South America’s largest country surpassed 500,000. More people have died from COVID-19 in Brazil than in any country except the United States.
Tournament organizers have declared the 2021 Copa America to be “the safest sporting event in the world”.
Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.