Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Support for COVID-19 stricken Mariappa

Published:Thursday | May 21, 2020 | 12:24 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Dalton Wint, general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), says that the organisation is shocked at the news that national defender Adrian Mariappa has contracted COVID-19.

Wint told The Gleaner that the JFF would offer the Watford player all the support that he needs as he begins his recovery from the virus.

“It is shocking, and it is news that we wouldn’t want to be receiving at this time,” Wint said.

“It is unfortunate, and I hope that he recovers very quickly. It is sad, but we continue to look forward to the services of Mariappa for the upcoming campaign, and I know his club is looking forward to him helping them to get out of the relegation [fight in the English Premier League (EPL)].

“Through our manager (Roy Simpson), we will be reaching out to him and to ensure that we are there to support him in whatever way we can.”

Watford, who are just outside the relegation zone of the EPL, were 17th on 27 points, before the league was suspended in March because of the pandemic.

The club confirmed on Tuesday that one player and two other staff members had tested positive for the virus.

Wint said that national players must adhere to the rules and guidelines that have been set out by their respective clubs to avoid another positive test.

“Please continue to respect what is said about social distancing, and try to keep yourself as safe as you possibly can,” he said. “Ensure that you do the right thing, and try to minimise the contact that you make.

“We are here to support you if you do come down with the disease, and whatever we can do to assist, we will.”

Mariappa, 33 years old, said he was also surprised by his positive test.

“It was a big surprise because I haven’t really left the house,” Mariappa said in UK-based newspaper The Telegraph yesterday.

“Apart from some exercise and the odd walk with the kids, I’ve mainly just been homeschooling and keeping fit.

“My lifestyle is very quiet, certainly no parties or going out or anything, so I really don’t know how I got it.”

Mariappa has made 49 appearances for the Reggae Boyz since making his debut in 2012.