Matt Frei 10am - 1pm
Premier League 'hit by 14 new coronavirus cases'
19 August 2020, 14:47
The Premier League has seen 14 people test positive for coronavirus since players returned to training from their holidays last weekend, according to reports.
New infections have been recorded at 12 clubs, according to The Telegraph, although the figures are unofficial as the league will only continue to regularly publish test results when it restarts on 12 September.
It has already been revealed that a player or staff member at Liverpool Football Club tested positive for Covid-19 during their pre-season training camp in Austria, however they have not revealed the individual's identity due to medical confidentiality.
Clubs will hope that the spike in cases will not lead to team transmissions as that could affect the commencement of the new season next month.
Although it is unclear whether those who tested positive are playing staff or work behind the scenes, pictures of footballers escaping to southern Europe for their holidays will have raised concerns among club officials.
Some have been spotted mixing with players from other teams while on holiday, with others even uploading images together on social media.
Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli was snapped meeting up with Leicester City's James Maddison and Aston Villa's Jack Grealish on holiday in Ibiza, while former Leicester teammates Ben Chilwell and Danny Drinkwater - currently of Chelsea - posed together in Greece.
Several others have uploaded images on their respective social media accounts, including Everton's Jordan Pickford and Chelsea trio Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori.
Most clubs returned to pre-season training last weekend with testing regimes resuming from last Saturday, as it did so with last season's Project Restart.
Of the positive infections, some are believed to be players and it is understood not all are asymptomatic.
The total of 14 new cases is disproportionately high compared to last season, where only 30 infections were found out of roughly 35,000 tests between the resumption of the league and its finishing.
Anyone who tests positive at a football club must self-isolate for seven days, as protocols dictate, and they cannot train without recording two negative tests first.
Given that the new season - to initially be played behind closed doors - is more than three weeks away, those who have tested positive should not miss the restart.
However, the effects of coronavirus have been known to last for months, therefore there is no guarantee those affected will be match-fit in time.
The Premier League will test players once a week when play resumes, instead of the two tests a week that were carried out to help complete last season.