Sari van Veenendaal, goalkeeper and captain of the defending champion Netherlands, has been ruled out for the remainder of the Women’s European Championship after injuring her shoulder in her team’s 1-1 draw with Sweden in their Group C opener.
Van Veenendaal will return to the Netherlands on Monday and be replaced by Feyenoord goalkeeper Jacintha Weimar, the Dutch soccer association said.
“It is terrible news. Firstly for Sari, of course, but also for our entire team,” Netherlands coach Mark Parsons said. “Sari is much more than a player in our squad. She is our captain and an important leader. We are going to miss her a lot.”
Van Veenendaal flattened defenders Stefanie van der Gragt and Lynn Wilms while defending a free kick against Sweden at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane on Saturday. Van Veenendaal received attention in the aftermath and was forced off around 10 minutes later.
Van Veenendaal’s departure is a second setback for the Netherlands, which won the European title when hosting the tournament in 2017. On Sunday, the team announced that midfielder Jackie Groenen was in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Netherlands next plays Portugal in Leigh on Wednesday. Portugal bounced back from an early two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with Switzerland.