Nothing seems to be going Granit Xhaka’s way at the moment. The Switzerland captain was sent off in Arsenal’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday, and now he’s tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty for the World Cup qualifiers, the Swiss FA have officially confirmed.
Switzerland beat Greece in a friendly match on Wednesday, but the Arsenal midfielder took no part in it. He was diagnosed with symptoms of the notorious virus on the morning of the match, and a subsequent PCR yielded a positive result. He is currently in isolation and a huge doubt for his country’s qualifier against Italy on Sunday. After that, Switzerland will face Northern Ireland next Wednesday.
A member of his national team’s staff has tested positive as well, but no further actions were taken as the rest have either been vaccinated, showed no symptoms or had no close contact with the pair.
The game against Switzerland would have been the 99th international cap for Xhaka, but it seems the 28-year-old will have to wait a little longer to come within a step from the 100-mark. But even though the general rules in the country require a 10-day period of self-isolation in such cases, the Swiss FA are planning to have Xhaka do another test today (Thursday), and the situation could change completely if it turns out negative.
“Xhaka was diagnosed with symptoms on the morning of the game and was immediately isolated in his room,” the statement says.
“A quick test turned out negative, the subsequent PCR test, carried out to be on the safe side, produced a positive result in the evening. Xhaka stayed out of touch with his teammates all day.
“He will do another PCR test on Thursday.
“The canton doctor of Baselland ordered no further measures for the team because the other players in the senior national team are all either vaccinated or have recovered. A member of the staff had to go into quarantine.”
Upon his return to Arsenal, Xhaka will miss the Norwich City clash the following weekend as a result of the red card he picked up against the Premier League champions.