Top Italian football club, Juventus, have confirmed that one of its players, Daniele Rugani, has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Rugani, who also a member of the Italian national team, is the first player in the Serie A to test positive for the disease.
Juventus announced the result of the test carried out on the defender on its website and social media channels.
The club said Rugani and “those who have had contact with him” are being isolated. It also said Rugani is not showing any symptoms of the disease.
The outbreak of the virus has led to a nationwide lockdown in Italy, where soccer and all other sports have been suspended until April 3. However, Juventus is scheduled to play Lyon in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Rugani was an unused substitute in the team’s last game, at home against Inter Milan last Sunday. That match was played in an empty stadium in line with a government decree before measures became even stricter in Italy.
Juventus currently lead Serie A by one point over Lazio as it bids for a ninth straight title.
A few weeks back, King Paul Akpan Udoh, an Italian-Nigerian footballer who currently plays as a forward for Pontedera, on loan from Juventus, was reported as the first professional football player to test positive to the virus.
He was has been quarantined to stop him from infecting others.
Indeed, more and more sporting events across the world are either being postponed or outrightly cancelled while others taking place are doing so behind-closed-doors due to the pandemic.
This inadvertently has resulted in huge revenue loss and taken away the fanfare that over the years has been an integral part of sports and sporting events.
Shaking of hands and matchday mascots have all been discarded in the Premier League for now even as the authorities have gone on to call-off the first game (Manchester City vs Arsenal) on Wednesday.