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Sport

Czechs name debutants and veterans in new squad after COVID-19 fears

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic on Sunday named a makeshift squad of newcomers and veterans for their Nations League match against Scotland on Monday after the team that beat Slovakia on Friday were stood down due to coronavirus concerns.

The Czechs originally sought to call off the Scotland match, after a second team staff member tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Yet after discussions with European soccer’s governing body UEFA, they decided on Saturday to cobble together a new team for the match, set to be played in the Czech city of Olomouc without fans.

The new squad features players from Czech teams, with most making their first appearances for the national side, including a trio of 17-year-olds.

Among the veterans, only 36-year-old defender Roman Hubnik, with 29 appearances, the last in 2016, and striker Stanislav Tecl, with five caps, have played for the national team before.

The team will be coached by Under-18 trainer David Holoubek.

All players in the new squad tested negative for COVID-19, a team spokesman said.

The Czechs downed Slovakia 3-1 on Friday in their opening match of the Nations League campaign. That squad has gone into isolation as a precaution despite negative tests last week.

Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Toby Davis

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