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Copa America: Dunga blames virus for Brazil's defeat, players clueless

Concepcion: Brazil coach Dunga blamed a mystery virus for his team's shock Copa America exit to Paraguay on Saturday as the most successful footballing nation on the planet struggled to digest another tournament setback.

Brazil coach Dunga leaves the hotel in Concepcion, Chile yesterday, a day after his team crashed out of the Copa America losing 3-4 to Paraguay via penalty shootout in the quarter-finals on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Brazil coach Dunga leaves the hotel in Concepcion, Chile yesterday, a day after his team crashed out of the Copa America losing 3-4 to Paraguay via penalty shootout in the quarter-finals on Saturday. Pic/AFP 

Dunga said as many as 15 members of his squad had been affected by the virus, which he said had disrupted preparations for the quarter-final against the Paraguayans.

"I'm not making excuses, but around 15 players had a virus which limited our training," Dunga said.

"Some had headaches, back pain, body aches. Some players felt it more than others and had to reduce training, some players vomited. Today was a game where we needed speed and we didn't have it," he added.

Dunga's explanation caused confusion among members of his squad, with midfielder Filipe Luis telling reporters he was unaware of any mass illness amongst his teammates.

"I didn't know anything about that," the Chelsea player said. "Some of the other guys might have had a problem, but I didn't."

Goalkeeper Jefferson however backed his manager. "Everyone woke up with a fever, headache and body aches," he said but played down the extent to which it had affected the result.

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