Everything spicy that they were not – because they could not or because they did not cheer up – Boca and Santos in the first semifinal of the Copa Libertadores, they were after the game, on the “desk”, with ridiculous formal complaints (Peixe’s letter to the Conmebol for the non-performance of the VAR in the unsanctioned prison from Izquierdoz to Marinho), complaints via social networks of destruction in the bus and with the rumor that transpired yesterday with force and that warned that the Brazilians included a footballer among the headlines infected with Covid-19.
The information spread around noon, after the Boca leadership learned that two Santos players, goalkeeper John and substitute Wagner Leonardo, remained in Buenos Aires for having tested positive in a test carried out on the São Paulo delegation to re-enter Brazil on Thursday after the cupbearer’s duel. The positive of the footballers was associated with the technical talk that Cuca gave at halftime on the playing field and the conclusion was easy: they knew they were infected and that is why they did not go to the locker room. A nonsense.
This Friday afternoon, the Boca Soccer Secretariat, led by Juan Román Riquelme, sent a statement to Conmebol to be informed about the PCRs of the soccer players John and Wagner Leonardo, who tested positive for Covid-19, and that it is ascertained if they could have played last Wednesday knowing the result of the swabs.
In Boca, the response from Conmebol is expected to clarify the situation and, beyond a possible protest if something is observed outside the regulation, alerts the situation of the players and the coaching staff, since if it is confirmed that both players have coronavirus The results of the swab that will be carried out this Sunday are worrying in the morning by the sanitary protocols of Conmebol. Remember: coach Miguel Angel Russo is a risk patient, because he is 64 years old and had a serious illness, and also the xeneize campus had 22 cases of positive Covid last August.
What Conmebol has already let out is that in no way will Boca win the points because Santos followed each of the steps perfectly. The entire delegation entered the country with negative results and that is why the players were allowed to play. What happened is that on Wednesday noon, hours before the duel in the Bombonera, the members of the Brazilian team’s squad took another swab to be able to enter the country the next day. There the conflict appears: in Santos they said that the results were known on Thursday morning and in Boca they believed that the studies were on the same Wednesday, hours before the game.
But around 7 p.m. yesterday, the company Cemepla, medicine for companies, published on its Twitter account that it was in charge of swabbing the Palmeiras and Santos teams before their matches against River and Boca, respectively, and that the results were delivered after the matches have ended, as a requirement to return to Brazil. Cemepla, with this, gave testimony that the players of coach Cuca did not know that there were two positives of coronavirus, with which Santos would not be exposed to a sanction.
The Brazilian press was the one that confirmed the two positive cases in the Santos campus. And they reported that Santos is preparing a new battery of exams for the duel against San Pablo today. And that he mistrusts the Argentine laboratories: they believe that the cases of John and Wagner Leonardo are “false positives.”
The funny thing is that Santos did not go to the dressing room at halftime and Cuca spoke with his players on the substitute bench. That appeared as the main indication that the Brazilian coach knew of John’s positive. But images quickly spread of the goalkeeper hugging all his teammates minutes before the start of the game and of coach Cuca giving halftime talks on the field. One was even in a San Pablo-Rosario Central in 2004, when Miguel Angel Russo was the manager of the Rosario.
What will happen in the next few hours? Not too much. Footballers John and Wagner Leonardo will return to Brazil on a medical flight and there they will carry out other studies to rule out a presumed false positive. Between today and tomorrow, Conmebol will carry out the corresponding swabs and there it will be known who can play the second leg of the semifinal and who cannot.
It is not ruled out, then, that John once again occupies the arch of the São Paulo cast at Vila Belmiro. And then, on Wednesday night, one of the two, Boca or Santos, will win the series on the court.