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Juve’s Rugani tests positive for coronavirus

Published:Thursday | March 12, 2020 | 12:07 AM


Italian club Juventus announced yesterday that one of their players, defender Daniele Rugani, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Rugani, who also plays for the Italian national team, is the first player in the country’s top football division to test positive for the disease, which is caused by the new coronavirus.

Juventus, which have won the last eight Serie A titles, announced the result on their website and social media channels.

The club said Rugani and “those who have had contact with him” are being isolated. It also said Rugani is not showing any symptoms of the disease.

Juventus trained earlier yesterday, although they were unclear whether Rugani was present. The club had said earlier that forward Cristiano Ronaldo was still in Portugal “pending developments related to the current health emergency” after visiting his mother – who had a stroke last week.

The outbreak of the virus has led to a nationwide lockdown in Italy, where football and all other sports have been suspended until April 3. However, Juventus are scheduled to play French club Lyon at home in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Rugani was an unused substitute in the team’s last game, at home against Inter Milan last Sunday. That match was played in an empty stadium in line with a government decree before measures became even more strict in Italy.

Shortly after Juventus’ announcement, Inter released a statement saying the club had decided to suspend “all competitive activities” until further notice.

It added: “The club is currently taking steps to put all the necessary procedures into place.”

That is likely to include self-isolation for all players and staff.

Inter’s Europa League game today against Getafe had already been postponed after the Spanish club said they wouldn’t travel to Italy.

Rugani was also on the substitutes’ bench for the first leg of the round-of-16 Champions League game against Lyon on Feb. 26. He last started a match against Spal on February 22.