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River Plate to field outfielder as goalkeeper Copa Libertadores tie after COVID-19 outbreak

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River Plate face Independiente in their next Copa Libertadores tie

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River Plate to field outfielder as goalkeeper Copa Libertadores tie after COVID-19 outbreak

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SportsCafe Desk

05/19/2021

River Plate will be forced to use an outfield player as their goalkeeper for the upcoming Copa Libertadores tie after a COVID-19 outbreak. This is because all four of the club's registered keepers tested positive but CONMEBOL denied their request to name two reserve keepers despite the outbreak.

River Plate are facing a predicament for their upcoming Copa Libertadores tie where they have to adapt to some rather unfortunate circumstances. The Argentine club will start midfielder Enzo Perez in goal for the upcoming tie with them losing twenty players, including four goalkeepers, to positive coronavirus tests. Such an outcome would mean River, who are second in their Libertadores group with six points from four games, may only be able to muster 10 men to face Independiente.

River player Javier Pinola is also sidelined with non-COVID related injuries, but coach Marcelo Gallardo is considering rushing his return, ESPN has reported. River president Rodolfo D'Onofrio has expressed his disappointment in CONMEBOL when their plea for adding a reserve goalkeeper had been rejected. Although CONMEBOL is yet to publicly announce their decision on the matter, much remains to be seen for the future of River Plate's upcoming ties and whether they are able to cope in the absence of a proper goalkeeper. 

"We are surprised because we never would have thought that CONMEBOL could make this type of decision. We presented and clarified why we thought we could use a substitute goalkeeper at any moment of the competition. The request is about a serious injury and we consider COVID a serious injury," D'Onofrio said, reported ESPN.

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