Venezuela manager Cesar Farias is facing quite the selection dilemma before his side’s match against Chile on Friday.
According to multiple reports, 20 members of Venezuela’s 24-man squad were reportedly unable to practice due to a severe stomach virus. Farias has less than 24 hours to pray that his players recover from what is an ill-timed outbreak of the worst thing in the world.
"They [the squad] didn’t have a good night and they weren’t able to train well." Farias told reporters after Venezuela’s practice on Wednesday.
The cause of the sudden outbreak hasn’t been determined, but it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure that it probably involves food poisoning. Which makes you wonder: did 20 players seriously order the same dish? Who does that? Could you be a little less creative?
What’s even worse, Venezuela pretty much have to defeat Chile. The only CONMEBOL side to have never qualified for a World Cup currently sits in sixth place — five points behind fourth-placed Chile — with the top four qualifying automatically and the fifth-place side given a chance to eek into the World Cup through a playoff.
Tied on points with Uruguay and three matches remaining, Venezuela could really use the three points, but first they need their players back.