MOSCOW (AP) — Another Russian soccer club disclosed multiple cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, putting more pressure on the league’s troubled restart.
FC Orenburg follows Dynamo Moscow, FC Rostov and FC Ufa, which have all had at least one confirmed or suspected coronavirus case.
“A number of Orenburg representatives revealed signs of a new coronavirus infection during routine testing,” Russian league president Sergei Pryadkin said in a statement.
Pryadkin said they were in isolation but didn’t say whether they were displaying symptoms.
Orenburg said six players and two staff members tested positive. The club added that all had tested negative before the club’s last game Sunday.
There was no immediate word on what would happen to Orenburg’s scheduled home game against Krasnodar on Saturday. Krasnodar has already had another of its games postponed and rescheduled for the league’s official reserve date of July 19.
Krasnodar is third and fighting to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Orenburg is 15th.
The Russian league restarted Friday after a three-month break and is playing with a reduced number of fans in the stadiums.
The restart was thrown into turmoil when Rostov put its entire first team into quarantine last week over a suspected virus outbreak affecting six players. When opponent FC Sochi refused to postpone their game, Rostov had to field a squad of youth and academy players. They were beaten 10-1.
Dynamo’s game against Krasnodar was set for June 21 but postponed after three Dynamo players tested positive for the coronavirus. The league and Russian soccer federation said in a joint statement Sunday that they were not considering canceling the season.
Shamil Gazizov, chief executive of seventh-place Ufa, said Tuesday in a statement that there was “a single case of possible infection” at the club.
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