August 21, 2020

Nice coach Vieira ‘worried’ after two players contract virus

Nice coach Vieira ‘worried’ after two players contract virus
Patrick Vieira

Nice coach Patrick Vieira says he is concerned about the impact two COVID-19 cases could have on the club ahead of the start of the new French season this weekend.

A number of Ligue 1 clubs have reported positive tests in recent days and Nice announced Friday two of their players were held out of training and placed in quarantine after contracting the virus.

“I felt on the pitch the rest of the squad is worried. I am too, for the match against Lens on Sunday and for what happens next,” Vieira said at a news conference on Friday.

“It complicates the planning. We’ll have to put up with it and be very responsible at home.”

Lens are awaiting the results of further tests after defender Jonathan Clauss returned a positive sample earlier in the week.

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“I hope we will play. If we start by postponing the first weekend, we’ll get nowhere,” said Lens coach Franck Haise.

“I think we need to play as much as we can when it’s possible otherwise we’re going to finish the season in 2023.”

A 57-page medical and health protocol set up by the French league is designed to limit stoppages and reduce contamination as much as possible.

Players will be tested two to three days before each match and a game will be postponed as soon as four cases are found at the same club within an eight-day period.

Friday’s scheduled Ligue 1 opening fixture between Marseille and Saint-Etienne was postponed due to an outbreak at the former. Fans will instead be greeted by Bordeaux hosting Nantes.