June 22, 2020 / 10:20 AM / 24 days ago

Five Red Star players test positive for coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Serbian SuperLiga - Crvena Zvezda v Proleter Novi Sad - Rajko Mitic Stadium, Belgrade, Serbia - June 20, 2020 General view inside the stadium during the match REUTERS/Marko Djurica

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Five players of Red Star Belgrade tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday after feeling unwell ahead of Saturday’s final league match with Proleter Novi Sad, the Serbian champions said.

Around 18,000 fans attended Red Star’s 2-1 win over Proleter, followed by title celebrations at the Rajko Mitic stadium after the government began easing lockdown measures earlier this month.

“The tests taken by Marko Gobeljic, Njegos Petrovic, Dusan Jovancic, Marko Konatar and Branko Jovicic returned positive today,” Red Star said on their official website http://www.crvenazvzezdafk.com.

“The former four had symptoms ahead of the match with Proleter, Jovicic didn’t but he tested positive too. They took the tests on match day and were kept away from the stadium as a precaution and are feeling well.

“All the other first team players and staff as well as management personnel tested negative and the club has taken all the measures necessary to make sure that the coronavirus is contained.”

Around 25,000 supporters had been in attendance for Red Star’s 1-0 defeat by city rivals Partizan in the cup semi-final on June 10. Partizan and Vojvodina Novi Sad are due to meet in the Serbian cup final in the southern city Nis on Wednesday.

In an unrelated event, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Croatian Borna Coric tested positive at a tennis tournament organised by Serbia’s world number one Novak Djokovic in Croatia’s coastal resort of Zadar during the weekend.

The tournament was the second leg of the Adria Tour event organised by Djokovic, with the first leg in Belgrade on June 13 and 14 drawing sellout 4,000 crowds at his tennis centre by the Danube river.

Djokovic, whose Italian fitness coach Marco Panichi also tested positive, is expected to return to Belgrade from Croatia later on Monday.

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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