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French soccer clubs report virus cases ahead of league start

French soccer clubs report virus cases ahead of league start

French soccer clubs Marseille and Nmes reported COVID19 cases among their firstteam staff on Tuesday, three days before the new season starts.

MARSEILLE, France French soccer clubs Marseille and Nmes reported COVID-19 cases among their first-team staff on Tuesday, three days before the new season starts.

Marseille said it found three positive cases. The people affected were not identified.

The team coached by Andr Villas-Boas is scheduled to open the new season at home on Friday against Saint-tienne.

Marseille said it sent details of the virus cases to the French league.

Nmes reported two suspected cases Tuesday and said its staff was isolating ahead of fresh testing. It was unclear if the cases involved players or officials.

The club reported one suspected case of COVID-19 last week and canceled a warm-up game against Dijon.

Nmes is scheduled to start its season at home on Sunday against Brest.

France is the first of Europe’s big five domestic leagues to start the new season after being the only one of the group to end its 2019-20 campaign early because of the coronavirus pandemic. The standings were declared final with Paris Saint-Germain winning and Marseille second.

In Germany, England, Italy and Spain, leagues restarted after shutting down for several months and completed their programs in June and July.

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first published:August 18, 2020, 14:48 IST