UEFA hands Nations League points to Romania after Norwegians forced told to stay home

November 19 – In a landmark move by UEFA that illustrates the increasingly thorny issue of Covid 19’s impact on international football, Romania have been handed a 3-0 win over Norway after their Nations League match was cancelled due to the Norwegian authorities banning the country’s national team from travelling to Bucharest.

UEFA decided the Norwegian FA was to blame for not sending a team to Romania though quite how they could have defied their own authorities is questionable.

Public health officials in Norway ordered the players to quarantine and not travel for Sunday’s game after defender Omar Elabdellaoui tested positive.

UEFA said the match should be considered “forfeited by the Norwegian Football Association (who is therefore deemed to have lost the match 3-0) for being responsible for the match not taking place.”

But the ruling illustrates the highly sensitive arguments surrounding games affected by Covid. Both the Norwegian federation and its players insisted they were not responsible for the cancellation.

It also had a negative knock-on effect in terms of Northern Ireland who found themselves relegated to the Nations League third tier even before they played Wednesday.

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