Champions League: Linfield match on Kosovar opponent’s Covid-19 issues

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Linfield led the Irish Premiership standings when the season was cut short in March and was declared champion at the end of June.

Linfield’s Champions League preliminary match with FC Drita was postponed just over an hour before kick-off after a second player from the Kosovar side tested positive for Covid-19.

UEFA regulations for the competition affected by Covid-19 this season suggest Drita may now forgo the tie.

A UEFA statement said the decision was taken after two FC Drita players returned positive tests.

The European meeting was to take place in the Swiss city of Nyon.

Competition rules said the clubs concerned would be responsible for non-compliance with matches and the schedule is extremely tight, with Legia Warsaw due to host the winners in another first leg next Tuesday.

Tuesday’s match was scheduled to take place in Switzerland despite Drita’s first positive Covid-19 test last Friday.

However, UEFA said Monday’s second positive test prompted Swiss authorities to quarantine the entire Kosovar team.

“The player, who tested positive yesterday (Monday August 10) had previously produced a negative test for Covid-19,” the UEFA statement continued.

“The case will now be referred to the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body, for a decision to be taken in accordance with Annex I of the UEFA Champions League regulations 2020/21, which has been approved by the UEFA Executive Committee last week. ”

The Irish Premiership champions qualified for the scheduled draw on Tuesday by beating San Marino champion Tre Fiori 2-0 in Nyon on Saturday.

Linfield’s team were made aware of the postponement as they boarded their coach for the game and opted to head to the stadium for a training session.

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