Bizarre reason Darwin Nunez must play without a manager for Uruguay against USA

Darwin Nunez during a Uruguay game
-Credit: (Image: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Marcelo Bielsa will not be on the touchline for Darwin Nunez and Uruguay's must-not-lose Copa America group stage game against the United States.

Nunez has scored in both of his country's first two matches at the tournament against Bolivia and Panama. Bielsa will now be hoping from afar that the Liverpool striker continues that form in their final game of Group C as they take on the hosts in Kansas City.

Avoiding defeat will secure Uruguay a spot in the quarterfinals. Losing the match by fewer than four goals would also see them finish first because of their goal difference.

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Nunez and Co. did their jobs on the pitch during their opening two games, but their delay in taking to the playing surface has cost Bielsa. After receiving a warning for being 90 seconds late in the first match versus Panama, sanctions will follow after delaying the second half of their next one with Bolivia.

The country's football association were fined almost £12,000 and warned about their future conduct. But the most tangible blow is that Bielsa has been held responsible for the player's tardiness, and thus, assistant coach Diego Reyes will be on the touchline for their next game.

“These regulatory sanctions are never well received because it is something negative,” Reyes said during a news conference on Sunday. “We took the necessary precautions in the last game and the one before it, but there were still a couple of unexpected events that could not be resolved. It’s a regulatory restriction, and we need to take it as it comes.”

Bielsa will become the fourth coach punished in three days after Argentina's Lionel Scaloni and Ricard Gareca of Chile missed the country's match on Saturday. Venezuela's Fernando Batista was also absent from their game yesterday night versus Jamaica.