The deconfinement of football in Europe and in the countries which planned to resume the course of their championship does not go as planned. After Germany and Dresden (D2) where two positive cases were detected forcing the club to forfeit the recovery, it is the turn of Portugal to be affected while, in the country, training has resumed for a week.
At least eight cases of footballers infected with the new coronavirus have been reported since this weekend among the staff of four Portuguese first division clubs, including defending champion Benfica. All these clubs are preparing to resume the championship at the end of May behind closed doors.
📝🔴 An official press release from the club announces a positive case of # COVID19 in the workforce.
It is about David Tavares, who in particular was to control without driving license during the confinement. pic.twitter.com/2J9O0bktYp
Benfica announced Sunday evening that Portuguese attacking midfielder David Tavares tested positive on Friday. The player is asymptomatic and in quarantine specified the club of the capital of the country.
Will the championship be able to resume?
The day before, Vitoria Guimaraes confirmed the detection of three cases. Moreirense has since reported another case and, according to the Lusa news agency, three players and two members of Famalicao management have also been infected.
A first case had been detected at the end of April, among the under 23s of the Belenenses club, based in Lisbon.
The Portuguese government announced on April 30 that the Portuguese first division championship was allowed to resume from the last weekend in May, behind closed doors and subject to the approval of a health protocol. It is not yet known whether these detected cases will call this recovery into question.
At least three FC Porto players reacted on social networks by being critical of the rules imposed and several editorialists expressed doubts about the merits of a resumption of the championship.
The players' union wants to be reassuring
The president of the Portuguese football union, Joaquim Evangelista, was reassuring. “Now is not the time to be alarmist. We are in a period of deconfinement and we must expect to have positive cases in society and in football in particular, "he said.
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When the competition was suspended on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic, FC Porto was at the top of the standings with a point ahead of Benfica.
The Portuguese League and Federation, which have still not confirmed the date of the resumption, revealed Sunday evening the conditions imposed by the Directorate General of Health (DGS) so that the last ten days of the competition can be held.
Footballers should in particular limit their social interactions to those close to them and to club staff. After the resumption of competition, they must be tested twice a week.
The matches must be played "in as few stadiums as possible" and their organization must not involve gatherings of more than ten people.
Recall that several countries, in addition to Portugal and Germany, have planned to resume their championship before the summer: Turkey, Serbia, Croatia. Others like Germany, Italy and Spain are looking at it while keeping a close eye on what is happening elsewhere. Not sure it reassures them.