Cascading Covid-19 cases in Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG), Girondins de Bordeaux, Bayern Munich, Juventus Turin or FC Barcelona… The surge of contaminations caused by the Omicron variant is shaking up the football agenda European.
The Argentine star of PSG Lionel Messi is one of four players in the Parisian workforce diagnosed with positive for SARS-CoV-2, the club announced on Sunday on the eve of a Coupe de France match in Vannes. Tested in Argentina, where he spent a week’s vacation with his family, in his hometown of Rosario, the Golden Ball will remain in place. “He is in constant contact with our medical service. When it is negative, he will be able to return to France “, said the coach, Mauricio Pochettino at a press conference. ” I do not know “ if he can play the shock of Ligue 1 in Lyon, Sunday, January 9, continued the technician.
Besides Messi, full-back Juan Bernat, goalkeeper Sergio Rico and young midfielder Nathan Bitumazala are also positive. “They currently respect isolation and are subject to the appropriate health protocol”, added the club. In addition, Mauricio Pochettino admitted on Sunday that the holding of the internship in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, where PSG must go from January 16 to 19, was uncertain.
The Coupe de France and Ligue 1 affected
PSG is not immune to the strong spread of the epidemic caused by the Omicron variant, which disrupts the round of 16 of the Coupe de France and the calendar of Ligue 1. Seven players from AS Monaco have been diagnosed positive . Twenty-one were among the Girondins de Bordeaux, who bowed Sunday against Stade Brestois – the Bordelais had traveled to Finistère with seven professionals and thirteen young people. Despite the protests of the Bordeaux president, Gérard Lopez, denouncing a ” lack of respect “, the meeting had not been postponed by the French Football Federation.
In Ligue 1, the match between Angers and Saint-Etienne, scheduled for January 9, was postponed due to the large number of cases of Covid-19 within the Angevin workforce.
“We have been living with the virus for almost two years, everyone knows what to do in order not to be infected. But we can always catch it, there are things we can’t control ”, said the PSG coach.
European football at the rhythm of the Omicron variant
France is not an isolated case in Europe. In England, where the Omicron variant quickly established itself at the start of winter, eighteen Premier League matches have been postponed since December 9, including three of the nine scheduled for the traditional Boxing Day, December 26. . Sunday, the shock of the 21e day between Chelsea and Liverpool will be played without Jürgen Klopp, the coach of the Reds.
In Italy, Juventus announced on Saturday evening that their captain, Giorgio Chiellini, was positive, after announcing two more cases the day before. In Spain, Barça coach Xavi asked for the postponement of the match against Mallorca on Saturday, due to a dozen cases within his squad. Several holders of Atlético de Madrid, including Antoine Griezmann, are also affected.
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Covid-19: Lionel Messi and three positive PSG players, the pandemic shakes up European football