| 3.7°C Belfast

Coronavirus: Champions League thrown into doubt as Real Madrid players in quarantine and La Liga suspended

 

Close

Real Madrid's squad has been placed in self isolation.

Real Madrid's squad has been placed in self isolation.

PA

Real Madrid's squad has been placed in self isolation.

Real Madrid's entire first team squad have been placed in quarantine after a club basketball player tested positive for coronavirus.

An official statement issued by the club said: "A player from our first basketball team has tested positive after testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Since then, the recommendation has been made to quarantine both the basketball first team and the football first team, given that the two squads share facilities in Ciudad Real Madrid.

"Likewise, it has been decided to close the facilities of our sports city and it is also recommended that all Real Madrid personnel who provide their services in Real Madrid City remain in quarantine. The Euroleague basketball and LaLiga soccer matches that were scheduled for today and tomorrow will not be played."

The Real Madrid Sports City complex is used by all sections of the club and after the positive test was confirmed, Zidane and his first-team players left the training complex and cancelled their planned morning session.

Real Madrid were due to play Eibar on Friday night behind closed doors in La Liga, with that game moved forward to help their preparations for the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester City next Tuesday. That game is now in serious doubt.

La Liga quickly announced that that the league would be suspended for a two week period, stating: "Given the circumstances learned this morning, referring to the quarantine of established at Real Madrid and the possible positive tests of players from other clubs, La Liga feels that the scenario has called for the next phase of action in preventative measures against Covid-19.

"Consequently, in accordance with the measures established in the Royal Decree 664/1997 of May 12, La Liga has agreed to suspend at least the next two matchdays.

"Said decision will be reevaluated after the completion of the quarantines decreed at the affected clubs and other possible situations that may arise.

"La Liga, as organiser of the competition, has already communicated its plans to the RFEF, the CSD and the clubs."

With the Real Madrid players out of action for the next two weeks, UEFA faces an increasingly mountainous challenge to find a way to finish this season's Champions League on time.

Paris Saint-Germain's game against Borussia Dortmund was played behind closed doors in Paris on Wednesday night, but that option will be taken off the table if players start to contract the virus and their team-mates are placed into a period of self-isolation.

Confirmation that the NBA has been suspended until further notice after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus same this morning, yet UK authorities are still allowing the Cheltenham Festival to continue this week and this weekend's Six Nations rugby matches are also due to go ahead.

That could all change later on Thursday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to belatedly escalate his response to the Covid-19 crisis, with Premier League football matches set to be played without spectators imminently.

Meanwhile, tennis officials are expected to confirm a suspension of the ATP Tour in the coming hours, with a resumption unlikely until the Madrid Open in mid-May and there are already suggestions that the French Open and Wimbledon grand slam events could be under threat this summer.

Independent.ie