There will be capacity crowds for the Wimbledon finals next month and around 45,000 people are set to be allowed into Wembley for the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a four-week delay in lifting coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England to July 19 due to rising cases of the Delta variant.

However, Wimbledon and the European Championship are being treated as test events, so there is set to be a full house of 15,000 on Centre Court for the championship matches on the weekend of July 10-11.

The grass-court grand slam will be the first outdoor sporting event to have a capacity crowd since the start of the pandemic.

When the tournament, which was not staged last year due to the COVID-19 crisis, starts on June 28 it will be at 50 per cent capacity.

A statement from the All England Club said: "We are pleased to have worked closely with the government, public health bodies, and our local authority in Merton, to confirm that, as part of this next phase of pilot events, The Championships 2021 will begin on Monday 28 June with 50 per cent capacity across the Grounds, building to full capacity crowds of 15,000 on Centre Court for the finals weekend.

"This will enable us to fulfil our aspiration of staging the best Wimbledon possible within the current circumstances, with the health and safety of all those who make Wimbledon happen - our guests, competitors, members, staff, media, officials, local residents, and partners - remaining our highest priority."

Crowds for England's first two Euro 2020 group games at Wembley have been capped at 22,500, but that figure is expected to be doubled so the stadium is half full for the semi-finals and final.

The semi-finals will be staged on July 6 and 7, with the final held on July 11.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "We want to gather further evidence on how we can open up all big events safely, and for good.

"The expansion of trials of the NHS app and lateral flow testing will mean that bigger crowds will be able to attend a limited number of major sporting and cultural events early this summer as part of our events research programme.

"In the next few weeks, this means more fans enjoying the Euros and Wimbledon, and some of our biggest cultural and sports events."

Lionel Messi admitted he is concerned about the coronavirus situation as the superstar captain targets a long-awaited title with Argentina at the Copa America.

Messi's Argentina will open their Copa America campaign against rivals Chile in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday.

Brazil is hosting the Copa after CONMEBOL controversially removed Argentina and Colombia as co-hosts due to respective political and COVID-19 issues.

Despite being one of the country's worst hit by the coronavirus health crisis, Brazil was awarded hosting duties for this year's showpiece event, which was already pushed back a year because of COVID-19.

Defending champions Brazil won 3-0 on Sunday against a Venezuela side that had reported 12 positive coronavirus tests amongst their ranks earlier in the week.

Speaking on the eve of Argentina's first match, Messi told reporters: "We are concerned about the situation because it is a risk for all of us to catch COVID-19.

"Although we try to take care of ourselves and do everything they tell us is not easy, because then these things happen and we face other national teams where there is a risk of contagion.

"We will try to do our best so that it does not happen to us, but this does not depend only on us and anything can happen."

Despite his remarkable Barcelona success, Messi is yet to win a senior trophy with Argentina following back-to-back runners-up performances at the Copa America 2015 and 2016, having also fallen short in the 2007 final against Brazil.

La Albiceleste and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi also lost in the 2014 World Cup decider – beaten by Germany.

"I always said that I am available to try to be with the national team and give my best," the 33-year-old Messi said.

"My biggest dream is to achieve something with the Argentina, I was close many times and unfortunately it was not given to me, but I will try to keep looking for it until it is given to me.

"If the coach who is there thinks that I can continue contributing to the team, I will always want to be there and fight for that dream. I was lucky to win everything with my club and individually, and it would be very nice to win something with the national team."

Messi was directly involved in 50 goals (38 scored, 12 assisted) in 47 games for Barca in 2020-21. Only three players in Europe's top-five leagues managed more.

He has now recorded 25-plus goals in each his past 12 league seasons, while the veteran scored 11 LaLiga goals direct following a ball carry last season – the most of any player in Europe's top-five leagues.

Portugal have been dealt a blow ahead of their Euro 2020 campaign, with full-back Joao Cancelo testing positive for COVID-19 and Diogo Dalot called up.

Manchester City right-back Cancelo had an exceptional season for the Premier League champions, and looked set to be a key player for Portugal as they aim to defend their European crown.

Indeed, he scored one and set up another as Portugal ended their preparations with a 4-0 friendly win over Israel on Wednesday.

However, the 27-year-old returned a positive test on Saturday and has now been placed into isolation. Further tests carried out across the rest of the squad revealed no more positive cases.

In accordance with UEFA's rules for the tournament, Portugal have replaced Cancelo with uncapped Manchester United defender Dalot, who spent last season on loan at Milan.

"Under-21 international Diogo Dalot will join the national team's delegation in Budapest to prepare for his debut at Euro 2020," a Portugal statement read.
 
"He will replace Joao Cancelo, who tested positive for COVID-19 following a rapid antigen test carried out this Saturday by the FPF Health and Performance Unit.
 
"The Hungarian health authorities were immediately informed and the player – who is doing well – was placed in isolation.
 
"The result of the test carried out by USP was confirmed by an RT-PCR test carried out on Joao Cancelo also on Saturday and whose result was known on Sunday morning.
 
"In accordance with the COVID-19 protocol defined by UEFA before the EURO 2020 matches, all players and members of the entourage underwent RT-PCR tests on Saturday. The results, with the exception of Joao Cancelo, were negative."

Fernando Santos' side start their campaign against Hungary on Tuesday, before taking on Germany four days later and rounding off their Group F fixtures against world champions France.

Brazil head coach Tite revealed the team asked for the Copa America not to be staged on home soil amid ongoing controversy regarding the showpiece South American tournament.

Defending champions Brazil will host coronavirus-hit Venezuela in the opening game of the Copa America on Sunday following initial concerns the Selecao would boycott the event.

Postponed from 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Copa America had been due to be shared between Colombia and Argentina, though both countries were removed as co-hosts following respective political and coronavirus issues.

Brazil was awarded hosting rights, despite being one of the countries worst hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

Captain Casemiro and the squad have already criticised CONMEBOL's decision to move the tournament to Brazil and those views have been amplified following news that 12 of Venezuela's travelling party tested positive for coronavirus.

With COVID-19 again casting a shadow over the Copa, Tite told reporters on the eve of the curtain-raiser: "I would like these problems not occurring, not only for Venezuela. The organisation is wrong and this is not political, but it is a direct criticism to CONMEBOL and whoever has defined this in the CBF [Brazilian Football Confederation] that the Copa America will be here, I did not ask for this.

"I do not have any political party and I did not have it throughout my career, I always voted for people and never for political parties. Not having political ideas, they politicised this situation, unfortunately. We chose to participate in the Copa America and be loyal, and the players and the coaching staff asked the president of the CBF before the Copa America was defined in Brazil. Before the president of the republic speaks, we told them that we would be loyal, out of respect for everything that is happening and on the one hand sentimental.

"We asked for some time before speaking publicly and the decision was already defined, this is the real thing and what I want to tell you. From that moment on we decided to express ourselves in a joint way and once it was defined we feel pride in our country, pride in representing the Brazilian national team and I am proud to be their coach, we are proud to be here. Please understand that it is not only black or white, there are also greys, there is the Brazilian national team and there is our discernment to choose to express our opinions outside of here.

"So, from the moment our opinions were contrary to the organisation of the Copa America and now we have to play, there are no excuses and we are going to play. We will take care of ourselves in the best possible way and we will adjust to our responsibilities."

Brazil have gone 20 Copa America games without losing when the tournament takes place on home soil (W12 D8). Their previous defeat was a 3-1 loss to Peru in 1975.

Indeed the Selecao have lifted the title on the previous five occasions they have hosted, with an overall record of W26 D12 L2 – the other reverse coming versus Paraguay back in 1949.

Diego Llorente is set to return to Spain's training camp on Friday after returning a negative test for coronavirus.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said the Leeds United defender had become the second player in camp to test positive for COVID-19 ahead of their Euro 2020 opener, with captain Sergio Busquets the first to have done so.

Llorente was removed from the team's base and was due to begin 10 days of self-isolation in line with COVID-19 health protocols.

However, a statement from the RFEF said a follow-up test undertaken on Wednesday came back negative, and that there are indications of a "false positive" from the original test.

Llorente will undergo further tests on Thursday and Friday and will be allowed to return to camp if both come back negative.

Busquets' positive result plunged Spain's preparations for their Group E opener against Sweden on Monday into chaos, with group training suspended and all members of the squad preparing individually.

It meant Spain's U-21 squad was drafted in for Tuesday's 4-0 win over Lithuania, a match that was supposed to be the main team's final warm-up for the rearranged tournament.

A 17-man parallel squad remains in place at Spain's base should any further replacements be needed.

Spain have confirmed no more players nor coaching staff have tested positive for coronavirus after a recent outbreak in their camp.

Defender Diego Llorente tested positive on Tuesday and was put into isolation, two days after Sergio Busquets was confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Spain suspended all training activity and fielded their Under-21s for Tuesday's final pre-Euro 2020 friendly with Lithuania, which they won 4-0 in Leganes.

Luis Enrique has created a parallel training bubble made up of standby players, including Rodrigo Moreno, Pablo Fornals, Carlos Soler, Brais Mendez, Raul Albiol, Kepa Arrizabalaga and 11 of their Under-21s squad.

There had been fears the virus could spiral out of control, but all other members of the squad and coaching staff – plus those in the parallel bubble – returned negative tests on Wednesday.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed the news in a statement on its official website, with further tests to be conducted in the coming days.

Spain begin their Euro 2020 campaign against Sweden in Seville next Monday, before facing Poland and Slovakia in their other two Group E fixtures.

Spain have retained 11 of their Under-21 players who featured against Lithuania on Tuesday, with Luis Enrique's Euro 2020 squad having been hit by coronavirus cases.

La Roja's preparations for the tournament were hit by Sergio Busquets' positive coronavirus test on Sunday, with the entire team forced into isolation.

Tuesday's friendly against Lithuania also had to be re-arranged, with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) promoting their entire Under-21s side, though La Rojita took their opportunity to impress.

Hugo Guillamon, Brahim Diaz, Juan Miranda and Javi Puado scored in a 4-0 win, but it was confirmed after the match that another member of the senior squad – Leeds United centre-back Diego Llorente – had tested positive for COVID-19.

Luis Enrique had already created a parallel training bubble with standby players, including Rodrigo Moreno, Pablo Fornals, Carlos Soler, Brais Mendez, Raul Albiol and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

With Spain starting their campaign against Sweden on Monday, 11 of the players who played against Lithuania have now been added to the separate training bubble.

Alvaro Fernandez, Oscar Mingueza, Marc Cucurella, Miranda, Gonzalo Villar, Alejandro Pozo, Diaz, Martin Zubimendi, Yeremy Pino, Puado and Bryan Gil – the only player to feature on Tuesday having represented the senior side in the past – are the youngsters selected by Luis Enrique, who only named 24 players in his initial squad.

Brazil's squad said they are "against" the Copa America but will not boycott the upcoming South American showpiece.

The Copa America is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, but the tournament has been overshadowed by controversy and uncertainty after CONMEBOL relocated the event to Brazil.

Postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Copa America had been due to be shared between Colombia and Argentina, though both countries were removed as co-hosts following respective political and COVID-19 issues.

Brazil was awarded hosting rights, despite being one of the country's worst hit by the coronavirus crisis.

Selecao captain Casemiro suggested the entire team were against hosting the Copa America on home soil, with head coach Tite promising more would be revealed following Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Paraguay.

After Neymar and Lucas Paqueta preserved Brazil's perfect qualifying record with a 2-0 win away from home, the squad stated their intentions in a statement via social media while criticising CONMEBOL.

"For different reasons, be they humanitarian or professional, we are not satisfied with the way the Copa America has been handled by CONMEBOL," the players said.

"All the recent facts lead us to believe in an inadequate process in realising [the tournament]."

Defending champions Brazil are scheduled to open the Copa America against Venezuela in Brasilia on Sunday.

Tite's Brazil are in Group B for the Copa America, alongside Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela.

"We are workers, professional footballers. We have a mission to take with the historic green and yellow shirt that won the World Cup five times," the statement continued.

"We are against the organisation of the Copa America but we will never say no to playing for Brazil."

Amid the uncertainty, the future of Tite has also been called into question due to the stance of the squad.

But Tite told reporters post-match: "I am not a hypocrite. I am not aloof and I know what is happening. But I know what the priority is. The priority is my work and the dignity of my work."

Tite was reluctant to discuss the stance of his players regarding the Copa America following his historic outing against Paraguay.

Brazil boss tite has never lost in World Cup qualifying (W16 D2) – the longest unbeaten sequence for a coach of any national team in CONMEBOL history after the Selecao won in Paraguay for the first time since 1985.

Diego Llorente has become the second Spain player to test positive for COVID-19, less than one week out from their Euro 2020 opener.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed the news on Tuesday following the latest PCR tests within the squad.

Spain's Euros preparations were thrown into chaos when captain Sergio Busquets returned a positive coronavirus test on Sunday, forcing the entire team into isolation and Tuesday's friendly with Lithuania to be hastily re-arranged.

Leeds United defender Llorente has since left Las Rozas in a medicalised vehicle, following all health protocols, while the national team will continue with personalised training.

The remainder of the senior squad in isolation all returned negative tests but will continue to follow strict protocols before the start of Euro 2020, with Spain scheduled to open their tournament against Sweden on Monday.

"The RFEF regrets to announce that central defender Diego Llorente has tested positive in the last PCR tests carried out this morning at the national team camp in Las Rozas," the statement read.

Spain head coach Luis Enrique has created a parallel training bubble with stand-by players, including Rodrigo Moreno, Pablo Fornals, Carlos Soler, Brais Mendez, Raul Albiol and Kepa Arrizabalaga

The Spain Under-21 squad represented the side in Tuesday's friendly with Lithuania, winning 4-0.

Spain have been drawn in Group E, alongside Sweden, Poland and Slovakia.

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is the latest player to be called up to Spain's back-up training bubble ahead of Euro 2020.

Spain's preparations have been thrown into disarray following Sergio Busquets' positive coronavirus test on Sunday.

The senior squad, who are in isolation, all returned negative tests on Monday but will continue to follow strict protocols before the start of the Euros, with players from the Under-21 squad set to play in Tuesday's friendly with Lithuania.

As a precaution against further positive cases depleting his squad, coach Luis Enrique has created a parallel training bubble with players effectively on stand-by to join the main Euros squad.

Rodrigo Moreno, Pablo Fornals, Carlos Soler and Brais Mendez were first called up to the bubble before defender Raul Albiol was added late on Monday.

Kepa will also join the group, giving Luis Enrique coverage across the positions should any further COVID-19 cases arise.

Kepa made only seven Premier League appearances in 2020-21 after losing his place to Edouard Mendy. The former Athletic Bilbao keeper has 11 senior caps for Spain.

Spain have added Raul Albiol to the group of players on standby to plug holes in Luis Enrique's Euro 2020 squad if COVID-19 strikes any further blows.

Captain Sergio Busquets tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday and was taken away from the national team training camp, although it is hoped he will be able to return.

Subsequent tests on remaining players and staff have all showed up negative results, but Spain are erring on the side of caution by ensuring they have suitable reinforcements if needed.

That is why versatile Villarreal defender Albiol, a 56-cap international who won the Europa League with his club side last month, comes into the picture at the age of 35.

With the senior squad in isolation and training individually, it will be a Spain Under-21 team who line up in a friendly against Lithuania on Tuesday, but senior caps will be awarded.

It was also announced on Monday that Leeds United forward Rodrigo Moreno and three midfielders in West Ham's Pablo Fornals, Valencia's Carlos Soler and Celta Vigo's Brais Mendez would be called in to train in a 'parallel bubble', being ready to step in should Luis Enrique's squad be depleted.

Spain's opening game against Sweden at Euro 2020 takes place on June 14 in Seville.

While the senior squad suck up the blow of missing out on a final international before the tournament begins, Spain Under-21 boss Luis de la Fuente will give his youngsters a "dream" outing.

De la Fuente said in a news conference: "This does not change the way I work, nor my responsibility and my professionalism. The players, like me, will be very excited to represent Spain.

"For us it is a great dream. I guarantee that the players and the coaching staff are only think about winning."

He said the match day would be "a beautiful day because the boys are going to show their potential".

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni said La Albiceleste are preparing for the Copa America to go ahead amid uncertainty, though he still has concerns.

The Copa America is scheduled to get underway in Brazil on Sunday after CONMEBOL controversially removed Argentina and Colombia as co-hosts due to respective political and coronavirus issues.

Brazil were awarded hosting duties, despite being one of the country's worst hit by the COVID-19 health crisis, and Scaloni has already voiced his disapproval of CONMEBOL's decision.

Tite's Brazil are reluctant to host the showpiece South American tournament, with the squad set to shed more light following Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Paraguay.

Argentina are also gearing up for a World Cup qualifier away to Colombia before their scheduled Copa America opener against Chile on Monday.

"We know what everyone knows, for now it is being played and we are aware of that," Scaloni told reporters, with Argentina out to maintain their unbeaten record in qualifying on the road to Qatar 2022.

"Now we are focused on the game with Colombia and after this we will surely focus on what is coming."

"We wanted to base ourselves in our training camp, they authorised it and for us it is a great peace of mind," added Scaloni.

"I don't know what will happen after the playoff games are over, but it is very important for us to stay at home.

"What will happen from tomorrow I don't know, we are calm. But the worrying aspect is still there."

Lionel Messi was on target as Argentina drew 1-1 with Chile in Thursday's World Cup qualifying fixture.

Messi – who also struck the woodwork on more than one occasion – converted a first-half penalty before Alexis Sanchez restored parity for Chile.

On Messi, Scaloni said: "Messi's always marked by two or three people. We are planning on doing something which we have not been doing in the last games. Hopefully we can do it.

"We will have to see what Colombia does. They are the hosts, they just won in a convincing fashion and we will see if they have the same team. Messi being marked is something that we assume."

Interim Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Antonio Carlos Nunes said head coach Tite will not be sacked amid uncertainty over the Copa America.

The 2021 Copa America is scheduled to take place in Brazil, starting on Sunday, following CONMEBOL's decision to relocate the event from Argentina and Colombia, though it remains to be seen whether the Selecao will take part.

Tite has said Brazil will state their intentions following Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Paraguay, while captain Casemiro suggested the entire squad are united against hosting the Copa America amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been some calls for Tite to be replaced due to the uncertainty but Nunes – who has taken charge of the CBF after the governing body's ethics committee suspended Rogerio Caboclo for 30 days – does not plan to make changes.

"I say it like this: aren't we winning? We won Copa America in 2019," Nunes told O Liberal. "And now we are almost qualified for the World Cup.

"… As the saying goes, you don't change a team that is winning.

"I am a friend of Tite's. I couldn't speak with Tite on Sunday. I wanted to tell him the decisions are with me now. I like his work very much, he is serious."

Nunes also endorsed the Copa America being staged in Brazil, adding: "Our first objective is to qualify for the World Cup. Brazil has never been out of a World Cup. 

"Regarding Copa America, neither Colombia nor Argentina wanted to do it because of the pandemic. CONMEBOL sought out the Brazil president [Jair Bolsonaro] and he readily accepted. 

"It has the approval of the president of the republic. I had to talk to the president of the republic. This referral is right. There are things to be resolved."

Amid the ongoing speculation and controversy surrounding Brazilian football, Tite – whose team boast a perfect record after five matches in World Cup qualifying – told reporters on Monday: "My judgment, my scale of values, my ethical side and my education say that I do not heed the rumours that are said.

"I have a lot of respect for my work and the Brazilian national team and I also have a lot of respect for these qualifiers for the World Cup, and the best way to repay all that trust to the people who are in my favour and those who are against me, it is to make the selection play well and be able to win.

"This is my attribution and my place and that is what I am going to do."

"The work we do to achieve good results is very difficult, so what for some may be priority or important things, for us at this time does not have that priority," Tite continued.

"Casemiro said the things he had to say regarding the whole situation that leads to the Copa America. When the FIFA and qualifying dates are over, we will very calmly clarify the whole situation, but for now respect our time and our work."

Rodrigo Moreno, Pablo Fornals, Carlos Soler and Brais Mendez will join Spain's parallel bubble for training ahead of Euro 2020 after Sergio Busquets tested positive for coronavirus.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) revealed on Sunday that captain Busquets had contracted COVID-19 just eight days before Spain's first game of the European Championship against Sweden.

With the senior squad in isolation, Spain will be represented by the Under-21 team in a friendly against Lithuania on Tuesday.

The RFEF has now announced that Leeds United forward Moreno, West Ham midfielder Fornals, Valencia midfielder Soler and Celta Vigo midfielder Mendez will enter the bubble on Tuesday.

Another "small" group of players will also train with the senior squad after the game against Lithuania, with Spain's final Euro 2020 squad dependent on further coronavirus test results.

An RFEF statement said: "In anticipation of the possible consequences that Sergio Busquets' positive could bring, the coaching staff has decided to incorporate a group of footballers to complete training during the next few days under Luis Enrique's orders within a parallel bubble.

"In this sense, tomorrow [Tuesday]  the players Rodrigo Moreno (Leeds United), Pablo Fornals (West Ham United), Carlos Soler (Valencia CF) and Brais Mendez (RC Celta) will join the sessions in Las Rozas.

"In addition, once the game against Lithuania is over, a small group of footballers yet to be confirmed will join the training sessions of the senior team under the same conditions as the previous ones. 

"They will train at different times and will not mix in any case with the summoned.

"The players invited to the training sessions will remain outside the Ciudad del Futbol bubble and will go daily to Las Rozas after having passed the relevant daily tests before their arrival and during their stay. 

"Their definitive incorporation to the Euro 2020 list will be evaluated based on the results obtained in the coming days."

Spain captain Sergio Busquets has tested positive for COVID-19 just eight days before the team are due to begin their Euro 2020 campaign.

The news was announced on Sunday by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), which said Tuesday's planned friendly against Lithuania would now see Spain represented by the Under-21 team.

That is one of a number of measures being taken to avoid any further risks before Spain begin the upcoming tournament, with the entire squad isolating.

Spain, coached by Luis Enrique, start Euro 2020 against Sweden on June 14 in Seville.

The RFEF's statement read: "The RFEF regrets to announce that its captain Sergio Busquets has given a positive result in the last PCR test that was carried out this morning at the national team training camp in Las Rozas. The rest of the members of the camp have all tested negative.

"The federation's medical services have adopted all the necessary measures in a case of these characteristics in accordance with the protocols established by both the Ministry of Health and UEFA, so that the footballer has left the camp in a medical vehicle."

The RFEF said Busquets' colleagues and close contacts would go into isolation, with personalised training routines implemented.

Declaring the change of plans for the Lithuania friendly, which was to be Spain's final match before the European Championship begins, the RFEF confirmed the game would now "be held under the direction of Luis de la Fuente and with members of the Under-21 national team".

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