Peru forced to reshuffle frontline for Brazil World Cup qualifier as strikers test positive

October 13 – Peru’s Raúl Ruidiaz (pictured) and Alex Valera have tested positive for the coronavirus, ruling both strikers out of their World Cup qualifier with Brazil on Tuesday.

The Peruvian football federation (FPF) issued a statement on Monday saying that Ruidiaz and Valera had not shown serious symptoms of the coronavirus and had remained in isolation since their first positive test. When their second test came back positive, the pair were released from national team duty and they will play no further part as the Peruvians hosts Tite and Brazil on Tuesday.

Ruidiaz had been expected to start for Peru. Previously, defender Christian Ramos and striker Aldair Rodríguez had also returned positive tests, but their second tests came back negative.

In its statement, the FPF emphasised that Peru is complying with the health protocols from both Conmebol and FIFA and that the hosts will play the match against Brazil.

The encounter will take place behind closed doors at the national stadium in Lima because of the coronavirus pandemic.

South America’s World Cup qualifiers in October had long been in doubt due to the health crisis, but when FIFA threw its weight behind Conmebol, local authorities lifted quarantine measures for incoming teams.

Peru has 851,171 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 33,000 deaths, according to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1656927399labto1656927399ofdlr1656927399owedi1656927399sni@o1656927399fni1656927399