Cagliari defender Diego Godin said Uruguay ‘respected all protocols’ during the national break, whilst Atletico Madrid forward Luis Suarez has apologised for ‘letting their guard down’.
Godin returned to Cagliari positive for coronavirus and the cases in the Uruguay squad has increased daily since the World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Brazil.
Pictures of the team enjoying a barbecue and drinking through a communal straw have emerged since the retreat and 17 cases from the team group have been announced.
The centre-back stressed he tested negative before he returned to Sardinia and claimed the players ‘respected all protocols’.
“I left Uruguay and the results of the swab were negative,” Godin told Telemundo. “Even the rapid test done at the airport with Nandez before returning to Italy was negative.
“But the one I did the morning after we arrived was positive. I’m fine. I had a bit of initial discomfort, a bit of headache and pain all over my body, as if I had the flu, but I’m already better.
“I took some paracetamol which helped me and now I feel better.”
The defender said Uruguay ‘lived inside a bubble’ during the international break.
“During the period spent in the national team it is as if we lived inside a bubble, which we can access only if the communication arrives from the club that we are all negative
“Evidently, the virus managed to get in anyway. I think it’s possible we have contracted the virus in the days spent in Colombia.
“We have respected all protocols, but like any human being, sometimes you overlook something, especially when you know you’re all negative.
“We only made one mistake, taking a picture without the mask. But we came from a historic moment, a great match against Colombia and we didn’t even think about it.
“I don’t think this is the origin of the contagion. This is why the controversy and the strange hypotheses about the infection seems unfair to me.”
Suarez has tested positive for COVID-19 too but claimed the pictures of the barbeque together with the players.
“Many people are criticising us, we committed an error and we apologise for that,” Suarez told Punto Penal on Uruguayan TV.
“The infection did not happen because of the barbecue, that’s very clear. We had the bad luck of one of us getting infected in Colombia.”