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Hoffenheim’s clash with Stuttgart to go ahead despite seven virus cases

Berlin (AFP) – Hoffenheim must play their Bundesliga home match with Stuttgart on Saturday after their request to postpone the game was rejected despite seven of their squad being in quarantine following positive coronavirus tests.

Sports director Alexander Rosen said on Thursday that the German Football League (DFL) rejected Hoffenheim’s request for the game to be moved to Sunday.

“We submitted an application because by then (Sunday) we might have had one or two more players available and out of quarantine,” Rosen said.

“The application was rejected in accordance with the match rules and we accept that.”

Under DFL rules, a game must go ahead if both teams have at least 15 players fit, which is the case for Hoffenheim.

The seven Hoffenheim players currently quarantined include Germany midfielder Sebastian Rudy, Algeria striker Ishak Belfodil and centre-back Kevin Vogt.

Rosen says none of the seven are seriously ill with the virus.

Hoffenheim captain Benjamin Huebner, Ermin Bicakcic and Konstantinos Stafylidis are also sidelined with knocks.

Hoffenheim have struggled since their stunning 4-1 win over Bayern Munich in September, which ended the European champions’ 23-match winning streak.

Having briefly topped the Bundesliga in September, Hoffenheim have slid down to 13th after taking one point from their last five league games.

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