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Sport

Belgium wait for word on quarantined Mertens

Soccer Football - Serie A - Parma v Napoli - Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma, Italy - September 20, 2020 Napoli’s Dries Mertens celebrates scoring their first goal with Victor Osimhen REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium are still waiting on whether Dries Mertens will be allowed to leave Italy and join up with his national team mates for three internationals over the next week, including a trip to Wembley at the weekend.

Mertens’ club Napoli are in quarantine at a resort near Naples after two squad members tested positive for COVID-19 last week, forcing them to miss their Serie A clash at Juventus on Sunday.

“Dries Mertens remains uncertain. His situation depends on the decision of the local authorities regarding COVID-19 measures in the Naples area,” said a statement from the Belgian football association.

The 33-year-old is a staple of the Belgian side, having won 92 caps for his country.

Belgium meet the Ivory Coast in a friendly in Brussels on Thursday and then take on England at Wembley on Sunday and Iceland away in Reykjavik next Wednesday in the Nations League.

Spain already announced that Mertens’ Napoli team mate Fabian Ruiz, who was called up for their friendly against Portugal and two Nations League matches, was unable to meet up with the rest of the squad due to the terms of the quarantine.

Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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