Football

Ligue 1’s start affected by Covid-19 cases

The French league (LFP) yesterday reshuffled the opening weekend of the Ligue 1 season, after the season-opener was cancelled following three more positive Covid-19 tests at Marseille.

Marseille were due to play Saint-Etienne on Saturday morning (Singapore time) in the first league match in France since March 8.

The LFP then filled the slot by bringing forward the game between Bordeaux and Nantes, initially scheduled for Saturday evening.

The three fresh coronavirus cases took the total at Marseille to four. The club said yesterday that all details had been relayed to the LFP.

The LFP said the postponed match was to be played on either Sept 16 or 17 "subject to changes in sanitary conditions within the Olympique de Marseille club", who are coached by Andre Villas-Boas.

They also cancelled a friendly last Friday against VfB Stuttgart as a precaution.

Fellow Ligue 1 side Nimes announced two new suspected cases in their squad and all employees have been put in isolation pending test results.

Nimes had hosted Marseille in a friendly on Aug 9.

At least 37 Ligue 1 players from 11 clubs have tested positive for Covid-19 in recent weeks. The vast majority contracted the virus after resuming training in June, leading to quarantines and a flurry of cancelled pre-season matches. - AFP

Football