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May 25, 2020

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Bournemouth man tests positive

An unnamed Bournemouth player has tested positive for coronavirus, the English Premier League club announced yesterday, becoming the eighth case involving an English top-flight side.

Bournemouth added the player’s identity would not be disclosed due to “medical confidentiality” and that he would self-isolate for seven days.

“Following strict adherence to the Premier League’s return to training regulations, the club’s training ground remains a safe working environment for players and backroom staff, who will continue to be tested for COVID-19 twice per week,” said Bournemouth in a statement.

The EPL announced on Saturday that there were positive tests at two clubs out of 996 tests conducted on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

The other positive was at a different club which has not been named.

That followed a first round of testing that produced six positive findings announced on May 19 at three EPL clubs from a total of 748 players and staff.

Those positives included Watford’s Adrian Mariappa and Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan.

For the second round, the number of tests available to each club was increased from 40 to 50.

Last Tuesday, squads started non-contact training for the first time since the EPL was suspended on March 13.

That an increased number of tests has produced fewer positive findings may be a boost to the EPL’s ‘Project Restart’ plan to resume fixtures in June. Clubs are expected to discuss moving to contact training tomorrow.

Officials still plan to complete all 92 remaining fixtures, with EPL Chief Executive Richard Masters saying on Friday that they were “as confident as we can be” about restarting next month.

Several players still have concerns about returning, among them Watford captain Troy Deeney and Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, who stayed away from training this week.

As well as Mariappa, two members of Watford’s staff have tested positive, while Hornets manager Nigel Pearson revealed on Friday that several of his players were isolating at home after family members contracted the virus.

Meanwhile, second-tier Hull City confirmed unnamed individuals at its club were the source of two positive results following tests on 1,014 players and staff at all 24 Championship teams over the past 72 hours.

The English Football League declined to name the club but a Hull statement said: “Hull City can confirm two people have tested positive for COVID-19 following the first round of testing at the training ground.”

The statement added the duo, “who are both asymptomatic and feeling no ill effects,” would now self-isolate for seven days in line with EFL guidance before being tested again at a later date.

As with the EPL, the small number of positive tests will encourage those who want to see the Championship season resume next month.

Elsewhere in Europe, Germany’s Bundesliga has resumed behind closed doors while on Saturday the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, announced La Liga could restart in the week of June 8.

While the top tier can play from this date, which is a Monday, La Liga has already said it wants to restart on June 12, a Friday. It is unclear when the first games will be held.

“Of course, play will resume under conditions that guarantee the maximum health security for all the competitors,” Sanchez said.

There has been no play in the top tier since March 12 due to the coronavirus.

“We are very pleased with the decision. It is the result of the great work of clubs, players, coaches, CSD (Spain’s sports authority), agents, etc,” league president Javier Tebas wrote on Twitter. “But we cannot lower our guard. It is important to follow health regulations and ensure the pandemic doesn’t come back.”

Barcelona tops the table, two points above Real Madrid after 27 of 38 rounds.


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