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FC Koln COVID-19 cases raise question on safety of football restart

Berlin,   The news of three FC Koln players testing positive for novel coronavirus has raised questions in Germany of the safety behind restarting the football season in May.

A senior lawmaker with the Social Lawmakers, junior partner to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition, has said that the rest of the squad, who will continue to train, risk damage to lung, heart and kidneys if they are carrying the virus.

“Likely two players, one staffer infected,” wrote Karl Lauterbach, who is also a professor of health, economics and epidemiology, on Twitter. “The rest (of the squad) continues to train. Whoever trains with COVID-19 risks damages to lung, heart and kidneys.”

Lauterbach expressed surprise that the players are not opposing the continuation of training instead of being quarantined. “Football should be a model example and not ‘bread and games’,” he said.

The German side recently returned to training in groups and had the entire playing squad, as well as the coaching and background staff tested for the coronavirus this week.

“Three people tested positive, all are symptom-free. After an assessment of the cases by the responsible health authorities, the three people who tested positive will go into a 14-day quarantine at home,” FC Koln said in an official statement on their official website.

“FC Koln will not confirm any names out of respect for the privacy of those affected. FC Koln’s training can continue as planned, according to the hygiene and infection control measures that have been in place since April 6th in group training,” it added.

German Football League (DFL) Chief Executive Christian Seifert had last week said that it is hoping to restart league football in the country on May 9 provided they get the green light from the country’s government. The German football season was halted on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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