MADRID, Spain, Mar 15 – Valencia confirmed on Sunday five of the club’s players and staff have tested positive for coronavirus, including Argentinian defender Ezequiel Garay.
Valencia said all those affected were “now at home, in good health and obeying self-isolation measures.”
Garay, who was set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, became the first player in La Liga to confirm a positive test earlier on Sunday.
“Clearly I’ve got off on the wrong foot in 2020,” Garay wrote on social media. “I’ve tested positive for the coronavirus, I’m fine and now just listening to the health authorities, at the moment in isolation.”
Valencia confirmed more cases shortly after Garay’s announcement. “Valencia CF confirm five positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been detected amongst first team staff and players.
“All of these persons are now at home, in good health and obeying self-isolation measures.”
Valencia played behind closed doors on Tuesday in the Champions League against Atalanta, the Serie A team based in Lombardy, one of Italy’s worst-hit regions by the virus.
After playing the first leg away at Atalanta on February 19 without restrictions to supporters, Valencia was one of the first Spanish clubs to take precautions.
The club announced on February 28 they would be suspending all non-sporting activity with the first-team after a journalist attending the opening game against Atalanta was confirmed to have tested positive.
All engagement with the media before and after subsequent matches against Real Betis on February 29 and Alaves on Friday was cancelled, while a tribute to the club’s former player David Villa was also called off.
La Liga have since suspended all league fixtures for two weeks while clubs have closed down their training grounds and instructed players to train alone from home.
An unnamed Real Madrid basketball player tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.
Serious doubts remain about whether the current season can be finished, with La Liga understood to be in favour of extending the campaign into the summer and postponing Euro 2020 until either later this year or 2021.
UEFA will hold a video conference on Tuesday, where football’s response to the virus will be discussed, along with the status of Euro 2020, the Champions League and the Europa League.