Juventus and Italy defender Daniele Rugani has tested positive for the coronavirus, Covid-19, the his club has confirmed.
The Bianconeri published a statement on Wednesday via their official website, which read: “The footballer, Daniele Rugani has tested positive for Coronavirus-COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic. Juventus Football Club is currently activating all the isolation procedures required by law, including those who have had contact with him.”
Italy has been heavily affected by the spread of the respiratory illness in recent weeks. BBC News reported that all shops in Italy apart from pharmacies and food stores had been ordered to shut down following concerns over Covid-19, which has resulted in more than 12,000 confirmed cases in the country, as well as 827 deaths (as of Wednesday evening).
Serie A has been heavily affected by the illness in recent weeks and seen numerous fixtures already played behind closed doors or postponed altogether. It’s a major doubt as to whether the domestic season will be concluded, with UEFA Euro 2020 set to kick off in June.
Rugani, 25, is the highest-profile player to have contracted Covid-19 to date. The player has made only seven appearances for Maurizio Sarri’s side this season, but the Guardian’s Fabrizio Romano said his diagnosis has also affected the plans of Inter Milan, whom Juventus beat 2-0 on Sunday behind closed doors:
Juventus trail Lyon 1-0 following the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 clash, but it's feared the return leg is now in doubt.
The Serie A fixture list has already been a topic of fierce debate following the spread of Covid-19 in Italy, mainly in the country’s northern regions.
Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Monday that all sports in the country—including Serie A matches—would be suspended in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus, via ESPN.
The news regarding Rugani came soon after German club Hannover confirmed defender Timo Hubers had also tested positive for the coronavirus, via NBC Sports.