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Ezequiel Garay among coronavirus victims

'All of these persons are now at home, in good health and obeying self-isolation measures'
Gremio players take the field wearing masks against Sao Luiz in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Sunday
Gremio players take the field wearing masks against Sao Luiz in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Sunday

Agencies   |   Madrid   |   Published 15.03.20, 10:09 PM

Five members of the playing squad and staff of La Liga club Valencia have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Spanish side said on Sunday. “Valencia CF inform that five positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been detected amongst first team staff and players,” the club said in a statement.

“All of these persons are now at home, in good health and obeying self-isolation measures.”


Earlier on Sunday Valencia and Argentina defender Ezequiel Garay became the first La Liga player to confirm he has the virus.

Valencia travelled to Milan last month for a Champions League match at Atalanta played in front of a packed San Siro stadium, before restrictions were placed on sports events in Italy.

Serie A doctors meanwhile have issued a joint warning advising against a return to club training after four more players tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the tally in the Italian top flight to 11. Fiorentina’s Patrick Cutrone and German Pezzella contracted the virus, the Tuscan club said on Saturday, with Sampdoria’s Fabio Depaoli and Bartosz Bereszynski later confirming they had also been diagnosed.

The president of Switzerland’s soccer federation — 70-year-old Dominique Blanc — has also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Ball of help

Atalanta forward Josip Ilicic has donated the ball with which he scored four goals in the Champions League last week to a hospital in Bergamo, at the centre of Italy’s coronavirus drama.

Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne donated 100,000 euros to a local hospital in Naples, with Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci donating 120,000 euros to a Turin hospital.

‘Masked’ protest

Players from Brazilian club Gremio took to the field wearing masks on Sunday in protest at having to play a soccer match as fears over coronavirus grow in the South American nation.

The players, led by manager Renato Portaluppi, walked out of the tunnel to play Sao Luiz and lined up before the game wearing white masks over their faces.

Gregotti no more

Vittorio Gregotti, an Italian architect who helped design the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics stadium, died Sunday at the age of 92 after catching the novel coronavirus, Italian media said.

Gregotti died of pneumonia after being hospitalised in Milan having contracted COVID-19. He also designed the Merassi stadium in Genoa for the 1990s World Cup in Italy, and the Arcimboldi Opera Theatre in Milan.

Ashwin’s observation

India cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin is convinced that the recommended social distancing hasn’t caught the people of Chennai yet. “Let me rephrase it, social distancing doesn’t seem to have caught the attention of the people in Chennai yet. The only reason could be their belief in the summer to curtail it or just faith that nothing will happen. #Coronaindia,” Ashwin tweeted.

Shield affected

Australia’s top first-class league Sheffield Shield could be declared vacant for the first time since the second World War after the cricket Board cancelled the final round of the competition due to the rising threat of COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report. Cricket Australia, however, deferred a decision on the final, scheduled to be played from March 27.

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