COVID-19 cases in Marseille causes delay in starting Ligue 1 season
Due to three new cases of COVID-19, the opening fixture of the Ligue 1 season has been postponed.
From the initial opening schedule of the 2020-21 football season, Marseille were meant to host Saint-Étienne at the Stade Vélodrome on Friday.
But unfortunately the club confirmed on Tuesday that three new players had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of affected players at Marseille to four.
For that reason, the Professional Football League (LFP) announced at midday that Marseille’s fixture had been postponed in light of the medical results.
“The national COVID commission indicates to the LFP Competitions Commission that the virus is circulating within the Marseille club,” said the LFP in a statement.
The match has been rearranged to the 16 or 17 September, subject to changes in health conditions.
Marseille have not confirmed which players have tested positive, although defender Jordan Amavi is believed to be Thursday’s positive case
It was Amavi who re-posted a message of support from teammate Dimitri Payet on Twitter on Saturday.
Also on Friday, another French club Nîmes cancelled a friendly fixture against Dijon as a safety measure after a suspected case of COVID-19. Nîmes are due to host Brest on Sunday for their first fixture of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season.
In recent weeks, according to AF, a total of 40 players from 11 Ligue 1 clubs have tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the medical protocol of the League, the national “COVID commission” can postpone fixtures when three or more members of the same club have tested positive for coronavirus.
It could be recalled that top-flight football in the country was suspended in March, but unlike other leagues around Europe, France decided to end the Ligue 1 season early, rather than restarting and many clubs criticized that decision as it affected most of them negatively.