Five Valencia Players, Staff Test Positive for Coronavirus

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Five Valencia players and staff are “in good health” after testing positive for coronavirus, the club announced yesterday.

Valencia and Argentina defender Ezequiel Garay became the first La Liga player to announce a positive test earlier on Sunday.

Spain’s La Liga was suspended on Thursday after the Real Madrid squad went into quarantine.

Spain is the second worst-hit country in Europe after Italy and is set to declare a national lockdown on Monday.

“It is clear I have started 2020 with bad luck,” Garay, 33, wrote on Instagram.

“I am very well and must obey health authorities and stay isolated.”

A Valencia statement said the affected players and staff were “in their homes in good health and under isolation measures”.

“We are confident that with solidarity, responsibility and good spirits we will beat this pandemic,” the club added.

In the case involving Real Madrid, a member of their basketball team – who used the same training facilities as the football team – tested positive, leading to the side’s quarantine.

Several players in Italy’s Serie A have tested positive for the virus, including on-loan Wolves forward Patrick Cutrone.

Also yesterday,Wayne Rooney insisted that the UK government and football authorities have treated footballers as “guinea pigs” during the coronavirus outbreak.

Elite football in Britain has been suspended until at least 3 April, with the Premier League saying “conditions at the time” will determine its return.

“For players, staff and their families it has been a worrying week,” he said.

“One in which you felt a lack of leadership from the government and from the FA and Premier League.”

Writing in his column in the UK’s Sunday Times, the former England captain said: “The rest of sport – tennis, Formula 1, rugby, golf, football in other countries – was closing down and we were being told to carry on.

“I think a lot of footballers were wondering, ‘Is it something to do with money being involved in this?’. Why did we wait until Friday? Why did it take Mikel Arteta (Arsenal manager) to get ill for the game in England to do the right thing,” queried the former Manchester United star.