Serbia expect Italy-based players to be available for Scotland game

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Euro 2020 Qualification Play off - Serbia Press Conference
Euro 2020 Qualification Play off - Serbia Press Conference

(Reuters) - Serbia coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic said he is hopeful all his Italy-based players can link up with the squad for Thursday's Euro 2020 playoff against Scotland after local authorities imposed lockdown rules on some Serie A clubs.

Players from Italian sides AS Roma and Fiorentina have been barred from leaving the country to play in international games because of COVID-19 infections at the two clubs, Italian media said on Sunday.

Several other Italian clubs will also be affected by the travel ban, local reports added.

But Tumbakovic said Inter Milan's Aleksandar Kolarov and Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic had joined their training camp and he expects the Fiorentina pair of Dusan Vlahovic and Nikola Milinkovic to arrive shortly.

"We have a big problem with Italian clubs," Tumbakovic was quoted by the BBC as telling reporters on Monday. "At this moment, I don't have the conclusive answer.

"This is the question that is problematic for the whole of Europe as the pandemics exploded and we have a problem with local authorities in Florence and their measures."

The winner of the Serbia v Scotland clash in Belgrade will clinch a Euro 2020 Group D berth alongside England, Croatia and the Czech Republic, with the round-robin games to be played at Wembley and Hampden Park.

The 24-nation tournament was originally due to be held from June 12-July 12 this year but was pushed back because of the COVID-19 crisis and is now to be staged from June 11-July 11 next year.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)