More Turkish football clubs hit by coronavirus

More Turkish football clubs hit by coronavirus

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Three more Turkish football clubs have announced that some of their staff members tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Süper Lig club Beşiktaş announced on May 14 that eight of its employees tested positive, without disclosing their identities or jobs at the club.

The club’s chairman, Ahmet Nur Çebi, also tested positive.

Another Süper Lig club, Kasımpaşa, also said on May 14 that two of its players tested positive for the coronavirus.

First Division club Erzurumspor, based in the eastern province of Erzurum, meanwhile announced late on May 13 that 11 of its staff members, including four players, tested positive.

The positive cases also included a technical staff member, a senior team personnel member and five club employees, the club said, adding that 12 others were taken to hospital after their test results were inconclusive.

The announcements came at a time when football leagues in Turkey are preparing to return to competition next month.

Sporting events across Turkey were suspended on March 19 to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) announced earlier this month a plan to restart the professional leagues on June 12 and made coronavirus testing mandatory for all players and club employees.

The second-tier First Division League, in which Erzurumspor is competing, is scheduled to begin on June 19.

The clubs started testing last week and many clubs, including Süper Lig sides Fen-erbahçe and Ankaragücü, have announced positive cases among their players and employees.

While the football leagues are scheduled to return, the basketball and volleyball leagues have been canceled.

“We are ending all our leagues,” Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF) President Hidayet Türkoğlu told reporters after a 90-minute board meeting on May 11.

“There will not be a champion in any of our leagues. The remaining matches in the men’s and women’s leagues will be not be played,” he said.

Similarly, the Turkish Volleyball Federation (TVF) President Mehmet Akif Üstündağ said his sport would not declare a champion or relegate any team.

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