A coronavirus outbreak in Manchester City has put manager Pep Guardiola and seven players in isolation while four Serie A teams were quarantined and unable to play games on Thursday.
City have indicated that they still plan to play their FA Cup game on Friday against Swindon with assistant coach Rodolfo Borrell after Guardiola tested positive.
The English Premier League champions have said Guardiola was among the 14 backroom staff and the seven first-team players ‘isolating themselves for COVID-related reasons’. Unvaccinated close contact of an infected person is also expected to isolate in England, but details have not been provided.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche has tested positive and will miss the team’s FA Cup game this weekend against Huddersfield.
Burnley has played the fewest Premier League games after three of their games were canceled due to outbreaks in opposing teams and another due to snow.
ITALY At least four of the 10 Serie A matches scheduled for Thursday will not be played after local health officials ordered teams to quarantine amid rising coronavirus cases.
Inter Milan showed up at the Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna for their game despite knowing it would not be played as the host team had eight players who tested positive.
There is a lot of confusion. We are facing abnormal situations, ”said Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta. “ We have had matches postponed and positions taken by ASls (local health authorities), who decide on their own, which is why we are seeing strange things. For example, Verona will play Spezia with 11 positives, while other teams have been arrested with a lower number of positives. ” The quarantine orders came from authorities in Bologna, Turin, Udine and Salerno.
Torino has six positive players plus two staff members, preventing him from playing at Atalanta. Udinese were to play against Fiorentina but have seven positive players as well as two staff members. Salernitana, which was to host Venezia, has nine players and two positive staff members.
Napoli’s game at Juventus is still expected to go ahead despite Napoli reporting seven positive players and three staff, including manager Luciano Spalletti.
The league said if the teams have 13 players available, including at least one goalie, then they should play. In total, more than 70 players in the league are positive.
League officials met on Wednesday night and decided all games still have to be played. None of the matches were therefore officially postponed. This means that teams like Inter, Atalanta, Fiorentina and Venezia could still show up for games they know won’t be played. Then authorities will likely go through a lengthy legal process to decide on the status of the affected games and whether they should be postponed to a later date.
Thursday’s matches mark the return of Serie A after a two-week hiatus. Another full 10-game roster is slated for Sunday.
Thursday is a national holiday in Italy, Epiphany.
Stadium capacities have been reduced from 75% to 50% following a government decree aimed at tackling the latest epidemic, and spectators must now wear FFP2 masks.
FRANCE The French championship match between reigning champions Lille and Lorient scheduled for Saturday has been postponed due to a high number of positive tests in the Lorient workforce.
The league did not specify how many Lorient players have COVID-19 but the website of the sports daily L’Equipe indicated that it was 12.
A new date for the game has not been set. AP KHS KHS
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