LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Veteran defender Pepe has been ruled out of Portugal’s World Cup qualifier against Turkey after testing positive for COVID-19 on Monday.
The Portuguese Football Federation said Pepe has gone into isolation and Tiago Djaló of French club Lille was called as his replacement ahead of Thursday’s playoff game in Porto.
It wasn’t yet clear if the 39-year-old Pepe, who plays for Porto, would be able to play the second qualifier next week if Portugal advanced past Turkey.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos also won’t be able to count on the injured Rúben Dias, the team’s other regular starting central defender.
Midfielder Rúben Neves is also unavailable because of an injury.
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