Monday, 30th October 2017

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Six test positive for Covid-19 in EPL

Reports in the British media said the results are from 19 of the 20 top flight clubs

By Agencies in London
  • Published 20.05.20, 4:59 AM
  • Updated 20.05.20, 4:59 AM
  • 2 mins read
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“The Premier League can today confirm that, on Sunday 17 May and Monday 18 May, 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, six have tested positive from three clubs,” the Premier League said in a statement on Tuesday. (Shutterstock)

The Premier League’s plans for the resumption of their season next month received a fillip on Tuesday when 748 Covid-19 tests carried out ahead of a return to training produced just six positives from three clubs.

“The Premier League can today confirm that, on Sunday 17 May and Monday 18 May, 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, six have tested positive from three clubs,” the Premier League said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days,” the league added. “The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency.

“No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public in this way after each round of testing.”

Reports in the British media said the results are from 19 of the 20 top flight clubs. One club is still awaiting the outcome of the tests. Their results are likely to be made public later this week.

Those who have tested positive could be staff as well as players. The relatively low number — just 0.8 per cent across the Premier League testing pool — should give clubs confidence to embark on the first phase of their return to training in the hope of restarting the league, possibly by June 19, that has been suspended since March 13.

In contrast, in Germany, a total of 1,748 tests yielded 10 positives from across the Bundesliga’s top two divisions when their players first went back to training. The Bundesliga restarted last weekend.

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo leaves the club’s sport centre after his first training, in Turin, Italy, on Tuesday. He reported back to Juventus’ training centre after a 10-week absence, including a two-week isolation period at his home in Turin after spending the lockdown period in his native Portugal.
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo leaves the club’s sport centre after his first training, in Turin, Italy, on Tuesday. He reported back to Juventus’ training centre after a 10-week absence, including a two-week isolation period at his home in Turin after spending the lockdown period in his native Portugal. (PTI)

Further tests will help ascertain if a return to socially-distanced training for Premier League clubs, albeit in small groups of five, is leading to a rise in cases.

The Premier League has in any case been told by government experts that coronavirus restrictions could endure for at least a year across English football.

England’s top division has been studying how the Bundesliga was able to resume while being realistic about missing its aspiration of getting back underway by June 12, its initial target date.

“We have to be flexible about it,” Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said in a media call. “The Germans are a couple of steps ahead of us obviously and we can learn from them and watch them and take confidence from their success.”

Team executives will hold talks next Tuesday to discuss protocols for allowing players to take part in contact training, but it is dependent on government approval and there being no new spike in Covid-19 cases after an easing of lockdown restrictions.

“(Once) we have had a proper discussion with clubs about how much is required to create the fitness levels before they can start playing, we are then in a position to be able to confirm when the season start is,” Masters said.

Inspectors will drop into training complexes of the clubs to check if the rules are being followed.