FOOTBALL – Real Madrid is due to play Cadiz at home tomorrow (Sunday). However, 7 football staff (6 players and one member of the technical staff) have tested positive with coronavirus. This is despite undertaking frequent tests. However, due to medical privacy rules, it has not been disclosed whether the players have been fully vaccinated or not.
Following government protocol in Madrid, all 7 (Marcelo, Modric, Bale, Rodrygo, Asensio and Lunin, and the coach’s assistant and son, Davide Ancelotti) are isolating at home and will therefore not be available until after the festive break.
However, from now, the testing will be done daily for all staff and players of Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, two members of the basketball team (Pablo Laso and Thomas Heurtel) that also train at Valdebebas tested positive on Tuesday. Although, since then, there have been no further cases there.
Moreover, there is only one common area used by both the football and the basketball teams. And this is in the dining room. However, they are never there at the same time.
In a virtual press conference, manager Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media ahead of the forthcoming game against Cádiz. Ancelotti said: “We’ve had setbacks this week, but those who have tested positive are fine. The team has trained well and is ready to play tomorrow’s game. We’ve had time to get ready for the game. Cádiz is a side with a clear identity, who are well-drilled”.
According to La Liga protocol, which was initiated last season, if a team has 13 players and at least one goalkeeper (5 must be from the first team), then the game would not be postponed. And although Carvajal and Ceballos may also be out through injury, Real Madrid can still provide a team.
There are also strict criteria within La Liga for a game to be cancelled. And if a match postponement does not meet these rules, the game would be considered a loss.
As the new variant takes hold in various countries, other football teams have also been affected by players testing positive with coronavirus. In the UK, many games have been cancelled so far. Manchester United have recorded a high number of positive test results, therefore, their game today against Brighton & Hove Albion and midweek against Brentford have been cancelled. Also cancelled today (Saturday) were Southampton v Brentford, Watford v Crystal Palace, and West Ham v Norwich. And on Sunday, Everton v Leicester has been cancelled. Other mid-week matches were also cancelled.
And we saw earlier in the week when Barcelona played in Germany against Bayern, some games are once again being played behind closed doors.