Ajax boss Erik ten Hag says the coronavirus rules that have stopped some of his key players from entering Denmark for the Champions League game at FC Midtjylland are “a bit strange”.
The Dutch club travelled to Denmark on Monday with only 17 players.
Captain Dusan Tadic and midfielder Davy Klaassen were among the surprise omissions for Tuesday’s Group D tie.
“A few of them are allowed to play in the Netherlands, but not in Denmark. That’s a bit strange,” said Ten Hag.
“They have no symptoms or complaints. They might still be able to play but that rests in the hands of the medical personnel and the authorities.”
Dutch media said the affected players were having secondary tests on Monday. Ajax hope the results will be negative and the players are then available to travel to Denmark with permission from Uefa.
“I have strong hope that they can play but I am not sure,” added Ten Hag.
Ten Hag would not discuss individual players in his pre-match news conference on Monday, but confirmed a number of them had tested positive for Covid-19.
Dutch media reported 11 of his squad had tested positive.
Uefa protocols ask clubs to confirm any player who has tested positive has recovered a week in advance of their next fixture.
“They have not been allowed to enter Denmark, although they have played in the Netherlands and elsewhere,” said Ten Hag.
“There are a whole lot of different rules between different countries, even within the European Union.
“The last decision was only taken this afternoon, just before we left for Denmark. Positive or not, I cannot say anything about that.”
As well as former Southampton winger Tadic and ex-Everton midfielder Klaassen, goalkeeper Andre Onana and midfielders Ryan Gravenberch were missing from the squad after being expected to start.
Reserve goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has also been left out, leaving 20-year-old Kjell Scherpen as the only keeper to have made the trip.
“The players we have here are good players. Some might have to play out of position but we are fit and ready to play,” added Ten Hag.
“I understand the Covid rules are tough but we must also be thankful that we can play.”
Ajax are third in Group D after losing at home to English champions Liverpool and drawing with last season’s semi-finalists Atalanta in their opening two games.
Danish champions Midtjylland, competing in the Champions league for the first time, are bottom having lost their first two matches.