July 25, 2020 / 10:19 AM / 14 days ago

Xavi tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Qatar league restart

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Club World Cup - Quarter Final - Monterrey v Al Sadd SC - Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar - December 14, 2019 Al-Sadd coach Xavi reacts REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

(Reuters) - Al-Sadd coach Xavi Hernandez, the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder, said on Saturday he had tested positive for COVID-19 but was asymptomatic.

Xavi, who renewed his contract with the Qatari club on July 5, said he will self-isolate as his team prepare for their first match on Saturday after the Qatar Stars League (QSL) was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Today I won't be able to join my team on their comeback to the official competition," Xavi said in a statement here "David Prats will be there on my behalf as head of the technical staff - coach to the Al-Sadd reserves.

“A few days ago, following the QSL protocol, I tested positive in the last COVID-19 test. Fortunately, I’m feeling ok, but I will be isolated until I am given the all clear.

“When the health services allow it, I will be very eager to return to my daily routine and to work.”

The QSL resumed on Friday after being suspended since March due to the new coronavirus pandemic. Al-Sadd, who are third in the table, play Al-Khor on Saturday with five rounds remaining.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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