Bad Bolognese puts Belarus - Luxembourg qualifier in doubt


Tuesday's Euro 2016 qualifier between Belarus and Luxembourg at the Borisov Arena is in jeopardy after much of the visitors' squad was struck down by food poisoning.

Both sides stand no chance of qualifying for the finals in France next year but Luxembourg's campaign has taken a further turn for the worse after 16 of their 20-man squad fell ill.

Luxembourg Football Federation (FLF) doctor Robert Huberty suspects a Bolognese sauce served to the players at their hotel in Minsk on Sunday may be the cause of the issue.

He told Luxemberger Wort: "It was about 7.15 when doctor Marc Reuter informed me that he had been called by many players in the middle of the night from 2 to 3am for stomach and intestinal problems. A total of 16 players have been affected. 

"Nothing is known of the bacteria, which was likely present in the meat that was used in the Bolognese sauce on Sunday at the hotel."

The FLF has contacted UEFA about the possibility of postponing the game for 24 hours, but coach Luc Holtz is keen for the match to go ahead as originally planned.

"Nothing is planned at the UEFA regulations for such cases, with three quarters of the team affected by food poisoning," Holtz said.

"There is no mention of possibly shifting the game one day. So I agreed that we would await the outcome of the workout on Monday evening, as there is a great desire to play this game tomorrow [Tuesday]. 

"But the players want to see how they feel during exercise and how they react to the effort. Personally, I want to play on Tuesday, and in my mind, it is clear: we will play on Tuesday."