Cascading positive cases, matches postponed, even behind closed doors: Europe of football, led by Spain, bears full brunt of the rise of Covid-19, which threatens to cripple the start of 2022 gives.
The pandemic does not know the truce. While some European countries prepare to return to the field in leagues or cups, the number of players and coaches who have tested positive continues to rise in recent days.
If holidays, conducive to gatherings and relaxation, times of recovery can explain this outbreak, then it is above all the extreme contagiousness of the Omicron version that is at the core of the condition.
“Boxing Day” upset
The English Championship, which did not rest, was the first to be affected as Great Britain was overwhelmed by this new wave.
Sixteen Premier League matches have been postponed in recent weeks. If the sacred “Boxing Day” of December 26 happened, it was cut from three meetings.
In England, fans were able to watch matches, but have returned closed doors in Wales and very limited gauges in Scotland.
In early December, the effects were already felt when Tottenham lost on the green carpet in their scheduled Europa League match against Rennes in London due to multiple cases of COVID-19.
La Liga greats impressed
It is the turn of Spain, where the championships resume this weekend, to be particularly impressed. FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid: La Liga’s three major players have reported multiple cases in recent days.
Nine players are now positive at Barca following Thursday’s announcement of three new contaminations from Sergio Dest, Philippe Coutinho and Ez Abde. He has been linked with Ousmane Dembele, Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Gavi and Daniel Alves.
Real Madrid on Thursday announced the positives of four players: Thibaut Courtois, Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Vinicius, while eight others had already tested positive since mid-December.
Club Colconero reported that four players at neighboring and rival Atlético, Antoine Griezmann, Koç, Joo Felix, Hector Herrera and coach Diego Simeone, are positive.
Atletico will have to meet Rio Vallecano on Sunday, but the match has been compromised as the other Madrid club has 17 positive players, according to the Spanish press, which would make it the La Liga club most vulnerable to this wave of contamination.
rage in anger
11th at the French Championships in Angers, to be positive they are 19! The situation is that the club has requested the postponement of their match against Saint-Etienne scheduled for 9 January. Of these 19 cases, “no more than 10 matches will be allowed to be played before January 10, 2022,” the Anguin team explained when training resumes.
In Lyon, team star Lucas Paqueta announced on his Instagram account on Thursday that he had tested positive, while on vacation with his family in Dubai. Apart from the Brazilian midfielder, other players are positive, AFP learned from OL, without specifying club numbers or identities. New tests will be done on Friday. A decision will also be made on whether or not to hold a planned internship in Murcia, Spain from 1 to 5 January.
On Wednesday, Lorient indicated that five of its players, whose names were not disclosed, were positive.
If Angers, Lyon and Lorient, who have already been eliminated, are not concerned with the 16th day of this weekend’s Coupe de France, teams are still at risk of either approaching their match with a lesser team or skipping it. Huh.
The Cup health protocol established by the French football federation does not provide for a postponement in the event of a cluster in a club, the latter being declared forfeit if sufficient workforce cannot be aligned.
In Italy, the Serie A Udinese-Salernitana match due on 21 December was postponed as a result of Covid and the match between Monza and Benevento in Serie B on 19 December was postponed. On Thursday, the Napoli club announced that it had its Nigerian striker from Napoli Victor Osimhen. Positive.
A fifteenth case of this endless wave affecting European football.
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