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Coronavirus: Linfield player tests positive

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An emergency department nurse outside the coronavirus pod at Antrim Area Hospital (Michael Cooper/PA)

An emergency department nurse outside the coronavirus pod at Antrim Area Hospital (Michael Cooper/PA)

An emergency department nurse outside the coronavirus pod at Antrim Area Hospital (Michael Cooper/PA)

The chairman of Linfield FC has said the club's priority is to look after the welfare of players and staff after a player tested positive for the coronavirus.

Roy McGivern said the news was "very unpleasant" and said issues around football will be addressed in due course.

In a statement, the club said it was "taking advice from the relevant authorities and will provide an update when we have further details".

It comes after Linfield and Northern Ireland defender Ryan McGivern went into self-isolation after coming into contact with a fellow player with the coronavirus.

McGivern will be absent for a fortnight after coming into contact with the Hanover FC player. He informed Linfield who have excused him from training.

It emerged on Saturday that a member of Portadown-based team had been diagnosed with the virus.

He was diagnosed after a game with Coagh United reserves. Hanover said they were only made aware of the player’s positive test following the game.

In a statement they said that, immediately after the confirmation, the club contacted all Hanover FC players as well as Coagh United and those involved in the Mid Ulster Football League.

Newry-born McGivern made 24 appearances for Northern Ireland between 2008 and 2016 after coming through Manchester City's youth system.

After a number of loans he left the club permanently in 2013 to sign for Scottish club Hibernian. He returned home to Linfield in 2018 after spells with Port Vale, Shewsbury Town, Northampton Town and Swindon Town.

On Monday night Hanover's fellow Mid Ulster league club Tandragee Rovers confirmed a senior player had also been diagnosed with the virus.

On Tuesday Tandragee said a relative of the player had also tested positive for the coronavirus.

They watched the club's game against Laurelvale from inside the clubhouse on Saturday.

"Please note that anyone that was in the clubhouse on Saturday afternoon between the hours of 2pm and 4pm and 5pm and 6pm are asked to follow Public Health Authority published guidelines with respect to their health and well-being," a Tandragee Rovers spokesperson said.

"If anyone has any concerns they should contact the Public Health Authority on 111."

The club have cancelled all senior and youth training until Monday March 3 as a precaution and all their fixtures have been suspended for the next two weeks.

Belfast Telegraph


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