BOGOTA, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Colombia's health ministry said Friday it would not allow Brazil's national football team to enter the country later this month, casting doubt over the teams' World Cup qualifier.
Colombia and Brazil are due to meet in the Caribbean port city of Barranquilla on March 26, but Colombian health minister Fernando Ruiz rejected the possibility of lifting a current ban on flights from the country's South American neighbor.
"The chance of receiving any flight from Brazil is very remote, there's no way to justify the arrival of a charter flight," Ruiz said in a statement.
Many European clubs have already stated they will not release players for the South American zone qualifiers because of contagion risks and quarantine requirements.
The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) conceded on Friday that it was unlikely to convince clubs to change their minds.
The entity met with world football governing body FIFA on Friday and talks will continue on Saturday in an effort to find a solution to the impasse.
South America has been one of the worst-affected regions by COVID-19. On Wednesday, Brazil's health ministry reported 1,910 COVID-19 fatalities, the highest single-day death toll since the pandemic began.