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Olympics-Soccer-Village COVID case no distraction for New Zealand: coach

The New Zealand women's soccer team are following strict protocols to stay safe in the Athletes Village in Tokyo and have not been distracted by COVID-19 outbreaks ahead of the Games, coach Tom Sermanni said on Monday.

Olympics-Soccer-Village COVID case no distraction for New Zealand: coach

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Women's World Cup - Group E - Canada v New Zealand - Stade des Alpes, Grenoble, France - June 15, 2019 New Zealand coach Tom Sermanni gives instructions to Katie Bowen and team mates during a water break REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

REUTERS: The New Zealand women's soccer team are following strict protocols to stay safe in the Athletes Village in Tokyo and have not been distracted by COVID-19 outbreaks ahead of the Games, coach Tom Sermanni said on Monday.

Olympics officials on Sunday reported the first COVID-19 case among competitors in the Athletes Village where 11,000 competitors are expected stay during the Games.

Since July 2, Games organisers have reported 58 positive cases among athletes, officials and journalists.

"We're really kind of oblivious to that," Sermanni told reporters.

"We sort of follow our doctor who is extremely strict. We follow strict protocols and do everything we can to make sure we stay safe and healthy and hopefully, by doing that we'll be OK.

"So, I don't think ... certainly I can only speak for myself but I don't find that a distraction because we're just focusing on doing what we need to do."

New Zealand kick off their campaign against Australia on Wednesday before facing world champions United States and Sweden in Group G.

"Australia is one of the teams we're looking to target, to get a result," Sermanni said.

"We know we're going into a group against good teams... ranked higher than us in the world but the thing we need to do is be ready for game one. That's critical for our team.

"Obviously the Australian team is the one we know the best out of the three. We've got great familiarity with them and... if we can get our preparation and tactics right and everybody comes up on the day we can get a positive result."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: Reuters

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