VIENNA (AP) — Austrian soccer league leader LASK Linz faces a charge of breaking rules on training during the coronavirus pandemic, the league said Thursday.
Clubs in Austria are only supposed to hold training for small groups of players under social distancing regulations before full training begins Friday.
But the league says it was sent multiple videos showing “a regular team training session” which supposedly took place “recently.” LASK has been accused of a violation of fair-play principles. Possible punishments range from a fine or points deduction to forced relegation.
LASK’s rival clubs alleged it had gained a “clear competitive advantage” by training.
“These pictures clearly document how LASK — despite the strict prohibition from the relevant ministries — holds a training session with full body contact,” a joint statement from the other 11 Austrian top-division clubs said.
“In this way there is a confirmation of the rumors which have existed for days around full-team training by the team from Upper Austria.”
Second-place Salzburg’s commercial director Stephan Reiter said the club was “shocked and stunned” at LASK’s conduct.
LASK had earlier told Austrian media it suspected two men of planting a surveillance camera at its stadium. The league didn’t say how it received the footage.
Soccer is scheduled to resume in the country with the Austrian Cup final on May 29 before the league starts up again next month.
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