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Concern after seven players from visiting football team test positive for Covid-19

Concern after seven players from visiting football team test positive for Covid-19
/ EP
  • Seven players from FC Prishtina of Kosovo tested positive for coronavirus shortly before playing local team Lincoln Red Imps

The authorities are carrying out contact tracing after seven members of the FC Prishtina football team from Kosovo tested positive for coronavirus shortly before playing local team Lincoln Red Imps on Tuesday. The match was immediately cancelled by the Gibraltar authorities, less than two hours before kickoff.

UEFA protocols dictate that teams need to be tested no more than three days ahead of leaving their country of origin, and have to present a valid certificate with confirmation of the negative results. In the case of FC Prishtina, the team was tested again upon arrival in Gibraltar and instructed to isolate in their town centre hotel until the results came through. As they all held certificates confirming that they had tested negative in Kosovo, they were allowed to hold a training session, but under special conditions: they were transported to the Victoria stadium by a special bus service, did not interact with anyone while at the session and were not permitted to use any of the facilities. As a precautionary measure, the stadium was thoroughly disinfected when they left. They were then taken back to their hotel and asked to isolate and stay in their bubble when dining.

The team were reportedly shocked when the results came through and seven members were found to be positive. All of the Lincoln Red Imps players, who had also been tested, were negative.

In a statement later, FC Prishtina criticised the Gibraltar government for cancelling the match, saying it had other players available and it could and should have gone ahead.