Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka tests positive for COVID-19

National Sports

BASEL, Switzerland (AP)Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and is a doubt for a World Cup qualifying game against European champion Italy.

The Swiss soccer federation announced the news after Xhaka was not in the lineup to play a warmup game against Greece on Wednesday evening. It would have been his 99th game for the national team ahead of hosting Italy on Sunday in Basel.

Xhaka showed symptoms in the morning and, after a rapid test returned a negative result, a subsequent PCR test revealed the infection, the Swiss federation said.

He is due to have another PCR test on Thursday.

The Swiss federation said other players in the squad were either vaccinated or had recovered from COVID-19 and did not need to be isolated.

It was unclear if Xhaka has been vaccinated.

The Arsenal midfielder was already due to serve a suspension when he returns to the club after being sent off at the weekend in a 5-0 loss at Manchester City.

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