MADRID: Football team Real Madrid went into quarantine on Thursday as La Liga announced that Spain’s top two divisions will be suspended for at least two weeks over the coronavirus.
La Liga authorities made the decision after Real Madrid confirmed its senior football team is in quarantine after one of the club’s basketball players, who shares training facilities, tested positive for the virus.
Real Madrid’s football and basketball players share facilities at Ciudad Real Madrid, the club’s training ground in Valdebebas. Real are due to play at Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday.
A club statement read: “A player from our basketball first team has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Since then, the recommendation has been made to quarantine both the basketball first team and the football first team, given that the two squads share facilities in Ciudad Real Madrid.
“Likewise, it has been decided to close the facilities at our training ground and it is also recommended that all Real Madrid personnel who work there remain in quarantine.”
La Liga has followed Italy’s Serie A in suspending its matches. In Italy, all sport is suspended until 3 April with the country in lockdown. This means all fixtures over the next two weekends in Spains’ top two divisions will be postponed.
A La Liga statement read: “In view of the circumstances known this morning, referring to the quarantine established in Real Madrid and the possible positive tests from players at other clubs, La Liga considers that the circumstances now exist to continue with the next phase of action against COVID-19.”
“La Liga agrees to suspend at least the next two matchdays,” the statement added. “This decision will be re-evaluated after the quarantine at affected clubs and other possible situations that could occur have ended.”
Juventus and Italy centre-back Daniele Rugani says he is “fine” after testing positive for the virus. The entire Juventus squad will spend two weeks in quarantine while Christiano Ronaldo has returned home to Madeira.
Two Europa League last-16 first-leg fixtures scheduled for Thursday have been postponed and a number will be played behind closed doors, including Manchester United’s trip to LASK.
Basketball’s NBA has been suspended and McLaren have pulled out of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix after a team member tested positive for the virus.