VIDEO SHOWS: NORWEGIAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION GENERAL SECRETARY AND U21 COACH TALKING ABOUT EFFORTS TO GET A TEAM TOGETHER
SHOWS: OSLO, NORWAY (NOVEMBER 16, 2020) (TV2 - NO USE NORWAY)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (Norwegian) NORWEGIAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION GENERAL SECRETARY, PAL BJERKETVEDT, SAYING:
"Therefore, we have come up with a good and safe travel plan. The players travelling to Norway will travel to Gardemoen (Oslo airport) and only to Guardsmen, check-in to a hotel where they will follow the restrictions and where they will be tested and will travel as a team on a chartered plant to Vienna on Tuesday. That's the arrangement we have chosen and has been approved by the health authorities in line with the current restrictions."
2. LIST OF NAMES OF TEAM TO PLAY AGAINST AUSTRIA
3. VARIOUS NORWEGIAN U21 COACH, LEIF GUNNAR SMERUD, PUTTING ON A FACE MASK (MUTE)
4. (SOUNDBITE) (Norwegian) NORWEGIAN U21 COACH, LEIF GUNNAR SMERUD, SAYING:
"I would like to say that it's an exciting team with many who have been playing with U21 before and players who are playing abroad and are very keen to show what they can do."
5. SMERUD WITH MASK (MUTE)
6. (SOUNDBITE) (Norwegian) NORWEGIAN U21 COACH, LEIF GUNNAR SMERUD, SAYING:
"The response has been fantastic. Many stayed up late last night getting, awaiting flights, testing specifics, mass information. They've had to provide information and get hold of football shoes locked up in wardrobes, quarantines, so it's been a very nice effort. A lot of humour, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing them soon."
7. SMERUD LEAVING (MUTE)
STORY: Norway announced on Monday (November 16) it will send a team to play Austria in their final Nations League group game on Wednesday (November 18) despite the chaos that saw their match against Romania on Sunday (November 15) cancelled following government intervention over a player's positive COVID-19 test.
The Norwegian players were on their way to the airport on Saturday (November 14) to catch a chartered flight to Bucharest when authorities told them that such a journey would breach the country's stringent coronavirus measures because a player in the squad had tested positive.
That match was cancelled late on Saturday and the players originally called up left Oslo on scheduled flights on Sunday morning, leaving the country's football association scrambling to form a new squad for Wednesday's group decider against Austria.
In a statement late on Sunday, the Norwegian Football Federation said the game against Austria would now go ahead and on Monday morning a new squad coached by U21 boss Leif Gunnar Smerud was presented at a press conference.
The players selected will fly to Oslo and observe a strict quarantine at an airport hotel before departing for the game, the NFF explained.
Austria, who beat Northern Ireland 2-1 on Sunday, top Group 1 in League B on 12 points ahead of Norway, who are second on nine points.
(Production: Ilze Filks)