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Football: Balestier Khalsa player tests positive for COVID-19

Football: Balestier Khalsa player tests positive for COVID-19

File photo of Balestier Khalsa Football Club. (Photo: Facebook/Balestier Khalsa Football Club)

SINGAPORE: A Balestier Khalsa football player has tested positive for COVID-19, and the club's next two fixtures have been postponed as a result, the Singapore Premier League (SPL) said on Sunday (Sep 19).

The player, who was not named, will be placed in a quarantine facility, said SPL in a statement.

His infection was detected during mandatory weekly pooled swab tests that all SPL players and club officials undergo, said the league.

The entire Balestier Khalsa squad has begun self-isolation and training sessions will be suspended for the next 10 days, it added.

Balestier Khalsa players and team officials will also undergo fast and easy testing on Sep 21 and Sep 23, followed by a polymerase chain reaction test on Sep 25, said SPL.

In addition, Balestier Khalsa's next two SPL fixtures - against Hougang United on Sep 24 and Geylang International on Sep 29 - will be rescheduled to later dates.

"The respective venue operators at Toa Payoh Stadium and Jalan Besar Stadium have been notified and the necessary deep cleaning protocols for their facilities have since commenced," added SPL.

In a statement on the club's Facebook page, Balestier Khalsa said it had followed "best practice" in its COVID-19 procedures and protocols.

The club said it has worked closely with the Football Association of Singapore to protect the health of its players and staff "from the outset of the pandemic".

"We will continue to do so by deep cleansing of our club premises and lay out a series of testing to ensure the rest of the club is COVID free," it said.

SECOND CASE THIS WEEK

This is the second COVID-19 case involving a player in the SPL this week.

SPL previously said it was informed on Monday night that a Geylang International player tested positive after his infection was detected through the mandatory weekly pooled testing.

The entire squad self-isolated, training sessions were suspended and the club's next match was rescheduled.

In its statement on that infection, SPL said the weekly testing regime was established to allow early detection of suspected positive cases and to ensure the "necessary protocols" can be deployed proactively.

The SPL season resumed on Jul 17, with matches played behind closed doors.

Up to 250 fans were first allowed at SPL matches when they resumed. All spectators had to be fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test result.

The number dropped to 100 after Singapore moved back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) in July.

Up to 500 spectators were allowed in mid-August before it was further increased to 1,000 about a week later. 

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and its developments

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Source: CNA/dv(zl)

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