Romanian League Suffers Resumption Setback As Doctor Contracts COVID-19

Medical personnel prepare to test people for Coronavirus at National Arena stadium in Bucharest June 10, 2020. A testing programme called “Am I immune to COVID?” begins on Tuesday, at the National Arena stadium where the City Hall of Bucharest has made all the necessary preparations from a medical and logistical point of view to randomly test around 2,000 people. Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP


Romania’s plans to resume its top football league were put on hold on Friday after staff at two of the clubs due to play in the opening games tested positive for coronavirus.

“We all want football to return to the stadiums, but the health of the players is paramount,” Justin Stefan, the head of the league (LPF) told Romanian media on Friday.

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After a three-month break due to the coronavirus lockdown, the LPF was due to kick off on Friday evening with FC Botosani visiting Universitatea Craiova.

Instead, Botosani’s players and staff were tested and put in quarantine after the team’s doctor tested positive for COVID-19.

Four games were scheduled for Saturday, but Dinamo Bucharest’s home game with Chindia Targoviste was also called off after one of the Dinamo staff was found to have contracted the virus.

“I’m afraid the season will not start again at all,” said Botosani owner Valeriu Iftimie.

Romania’s government last week approved a request for the country’s Liga 1 to resume on Friday after a three-month hiatus.

Eight games are left in the second phase of the championship. Some games could still take place over the weekend if no further cases are discovered.

Romania has reported more than 21,400 coronavirus cases with 1,380 deaths.


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