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Sport

Champions League qualifier cancelled after positive COVID-19 tests

(Reuters) - Slovan Bratislava’s Champions League qualification tie against Faroe Islands side KI Klaksvik has been cancelled after a player from the Slovakian club tested positive for COVID-19, European soccer’s governing body UEFA said on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Europa League - Round of 16 draw - Nyon, Switzerland - February 28, 2020 General view of the UEFA logo at UEFA Headquarters before the draw REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The match was initially scheduled for Aug. 19 but postponed to Aug. 21 after a member of Bratislava’s delegation had returned a positive test, prompting local authorities to quarantine the entire team.

Bratislava were required to provide a list of additional players who had tested negative and were eligible to play.

However, a player from the second group returned two positive test results in consecutive days, forcing the entire group to be placed into quarantine, UEFA confirmed in a statement.

“The rescheduled match could not be played and the matter will now be submitted to the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, for a decision to be taken in accordance with Annex I,” UEFA said.

Earlier this month, Kosovan side KF Drita’s Champions League preliminary round tie against Northern Irish club Linfield was cancelled after two players tested positive.

FC Prishtina, also from Kosovo, opted to sign players on loan from rival teams for one match to contest a Europa League qualifier away to Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar after eight of their players had returned positive tests.

Polish club Legia Warsaw, who face Cypriot side Omonia next Wednesday in the second qualifying round, also reported a second person testing positive for COVID-19.

“We would like to inform you that as a result of the RT-PCR test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus carried out on Aug. 21, one of the players of the first team obtained a positive result,” the club said, without naming anyone.

The club said the player had been in isolation since Aug 18 and had tested negative for the virus on Aug. 19.

Previously Legia announced on Aug. 17 that one person had tested positive, two days before their game against Linfield.

UEFA rules say that matches can go ahead provided that local authorities do not require a large group of players or the entire team to go into quarantine.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru and Alan Charlish, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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