PSG announce ‘three new positive’ Covid-19 cases, six in total

Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday announced “three new positive cases” of Covid-19 in their squad, a day after Neymar and two teammates were revealed to have contracted the virus, casting serious doubt over the start of their season in France.

“The latest Sars CoV2 tests carried out on the Paris Saint-Germain playing staff have confirmed that there are three new positive cases,” the French champions said in a tweet, taking the total number of cases in their squad to six.

Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes were the first three to test positive, all after a recent holiday on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Ibiza.

Their identities were confirmed to AFP by a medical source close to the playing staff who requested anonymity for reasons of doctor-patient confidentiality.

Sports daily L’Equipe reported earlier on Thursday that Brazilian defender Marquinhos, who was also in Ibiza, was among the new positive cases.

Mauro Icardi, Ander Herrera and goalkeeper Keylor Navas were also in Ibiza.

PSG are due to play their first game of the new Ligue 1 season away at Lens next Thursday, September 10, but there are increasing doubts as to whether that match will now go ahead.

The Lens game was initially due to go ahead last Saturday, but was controversially postponed to give the PSG squad a break after their run to the Champions League final in Lisbon on August 23, in which they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

That was despite PSG having played just five competitive games in the preceding six months.

Instead of playing the game, their squad were granted time off but the club has now been left to deal with a cluster of coronavirus cases which raise questions about why the French league decided to postpone PSG’s match in Lens, only for so many of their players to travel abroad on holiday during a pandemic.

After playing Lens on September 10, PSG are then due to entertain bitter rivals Marseille three days later.

Strict French league rules stipulate that collective team training sessions must be cancelled if a club has at least four positive tests over an eight-day period, with match postponements possible.

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