Brazilian players barred after coronavirus test confusion

SAO PAULO (AP) — Four men were stopped from playing in a Brazilian state championship soccer match Thursday because of suspicions they had attempted to falsify their COVID-19 tests.

The soccer federation of the state of Paraná said Gabriel Oliveira, Lapa, Castro and Enzzo of the tiny club Cascavel were ineligible to play against Athletico. The club only admitted the players had a fever, but were not positive for the virus.

Athletico beat Cascavel 3-1 in the fourth-round match of the local tournament.

Under professional soccer COVID-19 protocols in Paraná, clubs must test every member of the squad and team staff at least three days ahead of every match.

The soccer federation said all four players are under investigation by the state’s sports court after a laboratory reported that the athletes had not taken their COVID-19 tests on the due dates.

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