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In Spain, five footballers test positive for COVID-19

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No fewer than five players from Spain’s top two leagues have tested positive for coronavirus, La Liga confirmed on Sunday.

Players in Spain’s top-flight and Segunda division were allowed to carry out individual work at training grounds last week.

The move was the beginning of a staggered training programme, with the aim to restart competitive games in the middle of June.

La Liga insist identifying infected players through positive tests are part of that plan.

The five players, who have not been officially named, will now be quarantined at home and tested again “in the next few days”.

They will be allowed to rejoin their club’s training programme only after obtaining two consecutive negative test results.

A La Liga statement read: “Among La Liga Santander and La Liga SmartBank (Segunda) clubs, five positive cases were detected in players, all of them asymptomatic and in the final phase of the disease.”

“One of the objectives of these medical tests, according to the La Liga’s protocol for returning to training, according to recommendations of the CSD (Supreme Sports Council) and the Ministry of Health, was precisely to detect the denominated or asymptomatic, that is, those people who are infected and that, without presenting symptoms, they can infect other people,” the statement added.

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“In this way, we guarantee everyone’s safety when returning to work according to the occupational risk regulations.”

La Liga’s training plan includes players initially carrying out work individually before then expanding into small groups and finally taking part in larger team sessions.

Barcelona’s players were back for their first session on Friday while Real Madrid’s will return on Monday.

The medical protocol for training is strict and includes players arriving already changed and at specific times to avoid contact with others. They wear masks and gloves, and have their temperatures taken before entering the premises. At the end of training, they take away a bag of fresh kit for the next day and shower at home.

The league have not officially announced the timing for the resumption of competitive matches although Leganes coach Javier Aguirre said last week the proposed date is June 20.

That could correspond with the Spanish government’s de-escalation programme, which includes outside events being allowed to go ahead in their fourth and final phase, as long as they are attended by fewer than 400 people.

Football matches are expected to be staged behind closed doors for several months.

La Liga president Javier Tebas has said “it is not an option” to cancel the top flight given he estimates the economic fallout would cost clubs around a billion euros ($1.08 billion).

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But the third and fourth tiers in Spain will not complete their seasons, as confirmed by the Spanish football federation (RFEF) on Wednesday. Instead, promotions will be decided through play-offs and there will be no relegations.

 

Source: AFP

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Ex-Shooting Stars Idol, Odegbami advises Makinde to immortalize Muda Lawal, other sports heroes

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A  member of the glorious IICC Shooting Stars football club of Ibadan that won Nigeria’s first continental title, African Cup of Winners in 1976, Chief Segun Odegbami has enjoined Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state to immortalize Late Muda Lawal and other sports heroes.

Late Muda Lawal was also a member of the history making IICC Shooting Stars set of 1976, alongside Odegbami and Late Best Ogedegbe.

The trio were also members of Nigeria’s historic senior male football team, then called the Green Eagles, that won the nation’s first AFCON trophy in 1980.

Featuring on the BCOS TV sports programme, SBS Show, Chief Odegbami noted with regrets that Late Muda Lawal and other Nigerian heroes were not properly immortalized.

“Nigerians have many heroes not only in sports but also in various fields of life. However we don’t appreciate our heroes. It’s saddening that there’s nothing on ground in Ibadan where Muda Lawal lived, served and died, to show his contributions to the development of sports in the city”, the retired footballer known in his hey days as Mathematical Segun Odegbami said.

He, however  advised Governor Makinde to blaze the trail for other governors by putting structures in place to honour and preserve the memories of Late Muda Lawal and other Nigerian heroes.

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Odegbami continued, “I enjoin the handsome governor of Oyo state, Seyi Makinde to do what other governors have not done by putting structures on ground in honour of Muda Lawal and other heroes”.

The living soccer legend, fondly called Big Seg, further advised that legacies and families of the departed sports heroes should be taken care of and not allowed to suffer.

Chief Segun Odegbami was speaking in remembrance of Nigeria’s midfield maestro Late Muda Lawal who died 29 years ago in Ibadan.

Late Muda Lawal was a player/coach of IICC Shooting Stars (now 3SC), alongside another legend of the club Dr Felix Owolabi Akinloye, when he died on the 6th of July 1991 at the age of 37.

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World tennis champion, Djokovic tests positive for COVID-19

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Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic, Tuesday disclosed that  he has tested positive for coronavirus, joining a slew of other infected players who took part in an exhibition tennis tournament in the Balkans.

According to AFP, “Novak Djokovic tested positive for a virus COVID-19,” read a statement from his staff. “He is not showing any symptoms “.

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Chelsea’s Hudson-Odoi cleared of rape

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Callum Hudson-Odoi will not face any further action regarding a rape allegation, the Chelsea winger said on Saturday.

Hudson-Odoi was arrested on May 17 and released on bail.

But the England international has now said the police will not be pursuing the matter.

“At a time where there are bigger things happening in the world right now, you may also be aware of serious allegations that were made against me,” Hudson-Odoi wrote on Twitter.

“I have stayed silent and assisted the police fully throughout their enquiries, as I knew the day would soon come when my name would be cleared.

“Following a full and thorough investigation, the police have now confirmed they will take no further action.”

The 19-year-old added: “I would like to use this platform to thank everyone who has stood by my side and supported me during this difficult period.”

Hudson-Odoi made a full recovery after becoming the first Premier League player to test positive for COVID-19 in March and has been taking part in Chelsea’s preparations for the Premier League resumption next week.

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