5 players out as viral infection hits Netherlands squad

ZEIST, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch soccer association says five players in the Netherlands squad to face World Cup finalist France in their opening European Championship qualifier have been sent home after contracting a viral infection. Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo, Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt along with Sven Botman, Joey Veerman and Bart Verbruggen all left the team’s training camp. The association did not elaborate on the virus. The departures are another blow to coach Ronald Koeman ahead of the first match of his second stint in charge of the national team.  Already this week, Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Ajax winger Steven Bergwijn dropped out due to injuries.

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