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Coronavirus: Juventus Player Tests Positive

A player for Juventus, the Italian soccer champion, has tested positive for Covid-19, the club announced this on Wednesday, a worrisome development for football and a country struggling to contain the outbreak.

The 25-year-old defender, Daniele Rugani is believed to be the first player in the Serie A to test positive.

The team said in a statement that Rugani was “currently asymptomatic,” but that the club was following isolation procedures required by law for him and anyone who has had contact with him.

Rugani is not the first player in Europe to test positive for the Coronavirus German team, Hannover 96, confirmed earlier on Wednesday that one of its players had tested positive and was in isolation but the implications for Juventus, and for European soccer, could be far more severe.

Rugani was on the bench when Juventus played its title rival, Inter Milan, behind closed doors on Sunday, and his diagnosis means Rugani and his teammates, his coaches and assorted staff members must be quarantined for 14 days.

That will most likely make it impossible for Juventus to play the second leg of their round of 16 Champions league match against the French club, Lyon on Tuesday, and the news could lead to quarantine for Inter’s players and coaches as well.

Football in Europe has been hit hard by the outbreak of the Coronavirus as games in the English Premier League could be played behind closed doors.

League bosses, who insist they will take their lead from the Government, appear to be waiting for the lockdown call.

Other than the EPL, Spanish La Liga matches will also be played behind closed doors until at least 22 March, covering the next two rounds of top-tier fixtures in the country, to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus.

While the top two leagues in France will see games without fans until 15 April, Serie A football matches will be played behind closed doors until at least April 3 due to coronavirus concerns.

Ojeakhe Ozoya

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