Four Korean players test positive for Covid-19 ahead of Mexico friendly
Four players and a staff member on the Korean national football team tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday.
The four players on the senior national football team — goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo of Ulsan Hyundai FC, midfielders Kwon Chang-hoon of SC Freiburg and Hwang In-beom of Rubin Kazan and winger Lee Dong-joon of Busan iPark — and a staff member tested positive in Austria, where the Taeguk Warriors led by head coach Paulo Bento are due to play Mexico on Saturday.
None of the five have shown any symptoms and all are currently quarantined. The players that tested negative will be tested again at 8 a.m. on Saturday, local time.
Bento called up his roster for the first time this year for the game against Mexico on Saturday in Neustadt, Austria on Saturday evening, or at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning in Korea. The team is scheduled to play another friendly match against Qatar later in the week.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the two teams agreed to play their friendly in Austria, which allowed Bento to call up players who play in European leagues like Son Heung-min, Hwang Ui-jo and Hwang Hee-chan. If they go ahead, the upcoming friendlies will be Korea's first overseas fixtures since November last year and the team's first time playing together since the EAFF E-1 Championship in December.
As the players have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Korea Football Association said it will await for results of tests for the remaining players and staff before deciding whether to continue with the friendly match against Mexico. The four infected players are all regular fixtures in the Taeguk Warriors starting lineup.
The KFA is expected to discuss the situation with the Mexican and Austrian Football Associations.
BY KANG YOO-RIM [email@example.com]