Five players now positive in Seongnam FC Covid cluster
Seongnam FC reported that a total of 11 members of the club, five players and six coaching staff, have tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.
The outbreak started on Sunday, when one coach tested positive, with seven more people testing positive early Monday morning and one more player on Tuesday.
In addition, two players that had tested negative on Monday showed symptoms later in the day and underwent a second PCR test, testing positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.
Following the outbreak, all 46 coaches, players and staff members at Seongnam have been tested.
"Players who tested negative in the first test may have gone through a latent period, as they are showing symptoms after," Seongnam reported on Wednesday.
"We acknowledge the severity of the situation and are checking the players' conditions closely, including those who have tested negative for Covid-19."
Close contacts of the infected people are now being investigated. Players will be told to self-isolate if they came into contact with infected people. Some staff at the club are already self-isolating through July 24.
The K league 1 had been on an international break since the end of May and fixtures were to resume this week, starting with a match between Seoul and Incheon United on Wednesday.
Seongnam's return was scheduled for July 20 with a match against Incheon, but it is unlikely that the games will go ahead.
This will be the third time the K league has been derailed due to Covid-19.
On May 4, eight K league 1 matches and three K League 2 matches were postponed after Hwang Hyun-soo from FC Seoul and a player from Chungnam Asan FC tested positive for Covid-19.
Because Hwang had tested positive after appearing as a substitute at a match against Seongnam, Seongnam had to postpone four games that were originally scheduled during May though no one from Seongnam had tested positive. Seongnam played three of the four rescheduled matches in June with one against the Pohang Steelers left to play on July 28.
More recently, one Jeju FC player tested positive for Covid-19 on July 6 and a match between FC Seoul and Jeju United that was originally scheduled on July 20 was canceled and KFA announced on Wednesday that the fixture is rescheduled to play on August 18.
"We will announce whether matches will be postponed and when they will be rescheduled to in accordance with the KFA, after we figure out how long players have to self-isolate," Seongnam said.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]