Soccer-Croatia's Perisic to miss Spain game after positive COVID-19 test

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FILE PHOTO: Euro 2020 - Group D - Croatia v Scotland

(Reuters) -Croatia will be without Ivan Perisic for their Euro 2020 last-16 match against Spain after the 32-year-old winger tested positive for COVID-19, the team's medical staff said.

Perisic, who scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic and a late goal in a 3-1 win over Scotland in the group stage, will be left behind in self-isolation as Croatia travel to Copenhagen for the clash with the Spaniards on Monday.

"We are aware this could happen to any team at any stage of the tournament," Croatia's medical staff chief Sasa Jankovic was quoted as saying by the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) on Sunday.

"Hence we have complied with the UEFA protocol and all measures stipulated by the authorities from day one in order to avoid a large number of players having to be quarantined.

"The medical staff are doing everything in their power to stop the virus from spreading and rapid tests have confirmed that no one else is infected."

Perisic, who tested positive for COVID-19 ON Saturday, is to spend 10 days in self-isolation, meaning he would only be available for the final on July 11 at Wembley if Croatia reach it.

His absence is a major blow for World Cup runners-up Croatia as they look to get past a Spain team who hit their stride and reached the knockout stages with a 5-0 win over Slovakia.

Croatia, European Championship quarter-finalists in 1996 and 2008, play Spain at Copenhagen's Parken Stadium on Monday as they look to reach the last eight for the third time.

(Reporting by Zoran Milosavljevic, Amy Tennery and Ian Ransom; Editing by Dan Grebler and Ed Osmond)

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