4 more players for Seongnam FC test positive for COVID-19

SEOUL-- Seongnam FC said Thursday four additional players have been infected with the novel coronavirus, raising the total on the K League 1 football team to 15.

Nine players and six staff members for Seongnam are now on the COVID-19 list.

The first positive case for the K League 1 club was reported Sunday. The rest of the team, 46 players, coaches and staffers, immediately received polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

Two players and five staffers received positive results Monday, followed by one Tuesday and two more Wednesday.

Seongnam said the newly infected players over the past two days all initially tested negative. They started exhibiting symptoms after the first test and then they tested positive on their second test.

Most of the ailing players and staffers have no symptoms or mild ones, Seongnam said. Those who have tested negative remain in self-isolation.

The K League 1 has been on midsummer break since the end of June, though Seongnam had to play matches in June to make up for postponed games following a COVID-19 case from one of their opponents.

The first positive case for Seongnam came at the end of their training camp last week in Goseong, Gangwon Province.

Seongnam insisted their players haven't breached healthy and safety protocols, taking a thinly veiled jab at the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), where the defending champions NC Dinos are in hot water after four players admitted to hosting an illegal gathering in a road hotel room last week.

Later in the day, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors also reported a COVID-19 case, as a coach tested positive following their team's recent visit to Uzbekistan for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.

Upon returning home on Monday, all the team members underwent virus tests and tested negative, but the coach showed symptoms consistent with the new coronavirus the following day, according to Jeonbuk.

No further cases other than the coach have been reported from the team so far, though the players and other staff members have been in isolation, it added.

The latest case brought the total caseload among the K League 1-affiliated individuals to 18. Earlier, Jeju United and Daegu FC each reported one positive case.

The league has said it isn't yet considering suspending the season, as its baseball cousin at the KBO did Monday, but it will move around matches involving clubs with infected players.

Source: Yonhap News Agency