First professional footballer diagnosed with Coronavirus as disease spreads

A footballer based in Italy’s Serie C has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

La Nazione have reported that an unnamed US Pianese ASD player has contracted the disease officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation.

The report adds that the status of the player in question is ‘good’ despite his recent test coming back as positive.

The man in question had reported a fever before a recent fixture and made himself unavailable for selection, before putting himself in quarantine.

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Prior to the update there had been no other reports of footballers contracting coronavirus, after several Serie A fixtures were postponed at the weekend.

Italy has reported 447 cases in total which has caused 14 deaths, with the worldwide estimates standing at 82,455 cases and 2811 deaths.

Further fixtures in the European country will be played behind closed doors this weekend including the top of the table clash between Inter Milan and Juventus.

"Clubs could have also suspended games and postpone them, but there are scheduling issues," said the Italian minister of sports Vincenzo Spadafora.

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"Unfortunately, this is nothing I can evaluate or decide for."

Antonio Conte’s side also take on Ludogrets behind closed doors in Thursday’s second leg between the two sides, with Italy prime minister Giuseppe Conte admitting that sport will undoubtably suffer.

He said: "I too am a sports fan, and we will have to suffer a little bit.

“But at this point in time I wouldn't even know whether these measures [prohibiting large gatherings] will continue to be enforced into next week."

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In other sports the National Championship has been suspended by the Italian Rugby Federation with the Six Nations clashes between Ireland and Italy in Dublin and Italy v Scotland in the Women's Six Nations have been postponed.

The official statement reads: "We will continue to monitor the situation very closely with all unions and the respective government authorities and health organisations."

With the IRFU adding: "At the outset we made it clear that the IRFU was supportive of the government's need to protect public health in relation to the coronavirus.”

  • Coronavirus
  • Serie A
  • World Health Organisation

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