Tampines player tests positive upon return from Uzbekistan
A Tampines Rovers player tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday after returning from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where the Stags had competed in the Asian Champions League.
The squad member, who had shown no symptoms previously, returned a positive test upon arrival at Changi Airport, the Singapore Premier League (SPL) club said in a statement on social media yesterday.
The player has been placed in in self-isolation and will be monitored. He is believed to be unvaccinated.
This is the first reported case of Covid-19 among Singaporean athletes who were competing.
The rest of the squad are serving a two-week quarantine at designated hotels in accordance with the Health Ministry's protocols, the club added.
"All the members of our travelling party observed a strict protocol and were confined within a playing bubble with regular Covid-19 tests before every match in Tashkent," said the club statement.
Following their 16-day competition in the Tashkent "bubble", Tampines left Uzbekistan on Sunday at around 8.30am (local time).
They transited in Dubai for about nine hours before arriving in Singapore at around 7.30am the following day.
When contacted, Tampines chairman Desmond Ong said: "As a club, we are very grateful for all the help and assistance given to us by the MCCY (Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth) and the FAS (Football Association of Singapore).
"We are also very heartened by the messages of encouragement received from the other chairmen of the SPL clubs and the wider football community."
It remains to be seen if the Stags will be able to resume their SPL campaign against Lion City Sailors on Aug 4 as scheduled.
The FAS said in a separate statement that it will take all necessary measures to ensure that the health and safety of Tampines players and officials, as well as those from other SPL clubs, are prioritised before the Stags are allowed to return to training and competition.
Tampines, who were making their debut in Asia's top-tier club competition, lost all six Group H games in Tashkent, conceding 27 goals and scoring one.