Sports Desk – Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star Neymar, the world’s most expensive footballer, has tested positive for COVID-19, sources told AFP on Wednesday. The 28-year-old Brazilian has COVID-19 as well as his Argentinian teammates Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes, the same anonymous sources said.
“Three Paris Saint-Germain players have confirmed positive Sars CoV2 tests and are subject to the appropriate health protocol,” PSG said in a statement.
“All of the players and coaching staff will continue to undergo tests in the coming days.”
Neymar’s teammate Angel Di Maria is also in self-isolation in Paris after testing positive for COVID-19, sources told ESPN.
The Argentina international also went on a holiday to Ibiza. Teammate Leandro Paredes, who spent his holidays with Di Maria on the Spanish island, has tested positive as well and is also in self-isolation, sources said.
The cases would appear to be linked to a holiday trip to the Spanish Mediterranean island of Ibiza that several PSG players took following the Champions League final defeat by Bayern Munich.
That was after the controversial decision was taken to postpone a league game away at Lens, initially scheduled for last Saturday, in order to give the PSG squad a break after their Champions League ‘Final Eight’ exertions.
The match at Lens has been rescheduled for next Thursday, September 10, with PSG due to entertain Marseille three days later.
Strict French league rules stipulate that collective team training sessions must be cancelled if a club has at least four positive tests over an eight-day period, with match postponements possible.
The cases raise questions about why the French league decided to postpone PSG’s match in Lens, only for so many of their players to travel abroad on holiday during a pandemic.
The postponement was granted in order to give PSG players a rest after their European run, despite France’s richest club having only played five competitive games in six months.
The last French season was ended early, with 10 rounds of matches unplayed, because of the health crisis, and the start of the new French season has already been impacted.
In recent weeks, several Ligue 1 clubs have reported positive tests, including Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes, Nantes and Montpellier.
Marseille’s game against Saint-Etienne on August 21, which was set to be the season opener, was postponed.