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Football: 3 Czech players positive for virus ahead of Israel match

Football: 3 Czech players positive for virus ahead of Israel match

Czech Republic's Vladimir Darida scores his side's second goal from the penalty spot during an international friendly soccer match between Cyprus and Czech Republic at AEK arena in Larnaca, Cyprus, on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

PRAGUE: Three Czech Republic national team players tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of their Nations League game against Israel.

The three players were not identified and were in isolation, while 16 others - 11 players and five staff members - were to be re-tested after the results of their tests were inconclusive, the team said Saturday (Oct 10).

The Czechs are scheduled to face Israel in Haifa on Sunday, and Scotland in Glasgow on Wednesday.

The team was scheduled to fly to Israel on Saturday from Cyprus, which hosted the Czech team in a friendly match Wednesday. The visitors won 2-1 in Larnaca.

The soccer association said nine players as well as staff members and coaches were “on their way to Israel” as scheduled after they tested negative. The rest remained in Cyprus to wait for test results expected late Saturday.

The association prepared to fly in replacement players from the Czech league, if needed, so the match can go ahead Sunday.

On Monday, one Viktoria Plzen player who tested positive before the Cyprus friendly left the team with two of his teammates with whom he was in close contact. The three didn’t meet the rest of the team, officials said.

In September, the Czechs had to name a completely new squad just a day before a Nations League game against Scotland after a coronavirus outbreak in the camp. They lost 2-1 in the Sept. 7 game in Olomouc.

The Czech Republic has been facing a record surge in new coronavirus infections with over 8,000 new positive cases on Friday.

Source: AP

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