MILAN (Reuters) – Juventus defender Daniele Rugani has become the first Serie A player to test positive for coronavirus, the Turin side said on Wednesday.
Juventus said in a statement that the 26-year-old Italy international, who played in matches against Brescia and SPAL in February and was on the bench for Sunday’s home game against Inter Milan, had not shown any symptoms of the virus.
“The footballer, Daniele Rugani, has tested positive for Coronavirus-COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic,” Juve said in a statement.
“Juventus Football Club is currently activating all the isolation procedures required by law, including those who have had contact with him.”
Juve are due to take on Olympique Lyonnais in a Champions League quarter-final second leg next week but that match is now in doubt as the Turin squad will have to go into quarantine.
The Italian government has banned all sporting events, including Serie A, until at least April 3, in a bid to contain Europe’s worst outbreak. The most recent games were played on Sunday.
On Wednesday the death toll in Europe’s worst-affected country jumped by 196 in 24 hours to 827. Confirmed cases across Italy rose to 12,462 from a previous 10,149.
Four players at third tier Pianese had previously tested positive for the virus.
Rugani joined Juventus from Empoli in 2013 although he then returned to Empoli on loan. He has been at Juve since 2015.
He played for Italy at youth levels and has won seven caps for the senior national side.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot and Brian Homewood; Editing by Ed Osmond)
All copyrights for this article are reserved to The Star