KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The Norwegian health authorities’ refusal to let the national team fly to Romania at the weekend has landed the players with a disciplinary defeat.
The appeals panel of European federation UEFA has ruled that because Sunday’s Nations League tie had to be called off because of Norwegian action they must accept responsibility.
That ruling will infuriate the NFF and its players who had both issued statements insisting that they were not responsible for the cancellation.
The Norwegian health ministry had insisted the team could not travel to Bucharest and should instead go into quarantine after a positive test for Galatasaray right back Omar Elabdellaoui.
UEFA’s decision has obvious consequences for other national and club teams involved in international competitions while also raising concerns that some federations may turn a blind eye to test results which could cost them their matches.
A UEFA statement explained that its control, ethics and disciplinary body had immediately passed the issue for a ruling to the appeals body “in accordance with the special rules applicable to the league phase of the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League.”
This had decided that the match should be considered “forfeited by the Norwegian Football Association (who is therefore deemed to have lost the match 3-0) for being responsible for the match not taking place.”
A similar decision is likely now to apply to Tuesday’s scrapped match between Switzerland and Ukraine. The Ukraine federation was unable to field a team when the entire party was ordered into quarantine by the Swiss authorities after a number of positive tests.