COVID-19 case in Germany’s national football team ahead of FIFA World Cup qualifier

A Germany national football team player has been tested for coronavirus ahead of a FIFA World Cup qualifier on Thursday against Iceland.
Germany will play without two players to open their World Cup qualifier against Iceland after midfielder Jonas Hofmann was tested for coronavirus and defender Marcel Halstenberg was considered a close contact.
The German soccer federation said Thursday’s game was still going on and that Hofmann was alone and unmarked. An exercise session on the day of the outdoor game was stopped and the team was re-tested and using quick antigen testing kits, with no side effects. More tests are scheduled for Friday.
The Instagram account posted pictures on Wednesday showing Leipzig defender Halstenberg playing a backgammon match against Borussia Monchengladbach’s Hofmann inside. They were both wearing masks.
Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff said he hoped the virus could spread because the team had taken steps to reduce contact between players without training time. That includes placing players separated by two team buses and different food options.
“Yes, we will use whatever requirements the authorities may have,” Bierhoff said.
This is the first time a player has been tested for coronavirus while on the German national team, which has played eight friendly matches and Nations League matches since the outbreak began.
The match against Iceland will be Germany’s first since losing to Spain 6-0 in the Nations League in November. That was the team’s worst defeat in a competitive game, and the worst in any game since 1931.
Germany will play Romania on Sunday and host North Macedonia on Wednesday in Group J

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