As City fans await further news, what have other players said about testing positive for Covid-19?
PUBLISHED: 14:46 15 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:58 15 June 2020
Fans haven’t yet heard from the Norwich City player who has tested positive for Covid-19 and the player may decide to remain anonymous. Other footballers have spoken of their coronavirus experience recently though.
Some supporters have tried to work out who the Canaries player in question is with a bit of online detective work by keeping track of which players have been active on social media over the weekend, with a picture of Teemu Pukki paying in a car park circulating on Twitter, claiming to be proof that City’s top scorer is not the player in isolation.
Michael McGovern and Lukas Rupp both posted videos to their Instagram stories from public locations and players including Tim Krul, Mo Leitner, Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia have also been active online since the positive test result was announced on Saturday evening.
None of that is conclusive, of course, though and supporters will just have to be patient to see whether the unnamed Norwich player is comfortable with revealing his positive diagnosis.
It’s understood the player is asymptomatic and was caught by surprise when he received the positive result, which means seven days of isolation and missing Friday’s restart clash with Southampton at Carrow Road.
It is one of just 16 positive tests from a total of 8,687 carried out by the Premier League so far, as players and staff at each of the 20 clubs continue to be tested twice a week ahead of the season resuming behind closed doors on Wednesday.
Watford defender Adrian Mariappa as well as two members of staff at the Hertfordshire club were among the six positive tests from the first round of testing in May, as well as Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan.
Mariappa told the Telegraph at the time: “It was a big surprise because I haven’t really left the house.
“Apart from some exercise and the odd walk with the kids, I’ve mainly just been home schooling and keeping fit.
“My lifestyle is very quiet, certainly no parties or going out or anything, so I really don’t know how I got it.”
He added: “It’s quite scary how you can feel absolutely fine and not really have left the house, and yet still get the virus.
“If it wasn’t for the fact I had gone back to training and had this test, then I’d never have found out that I had the virus and I would just be getting on with things as normal. That’s obviously quite a strange thought.”
Bournemouth and England Under-21 goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is another among the 16 positives to speak publicly about his experience.
“It’s definitely a shock - I’ve not been in contact with anybody and I’ve now got it,” he told The Sun last month.
“I’m showing no symptoms so the fact that a healthy young person could potentially have it is definitely scary and worrying.
“It’s obviously not great that I’ve got it but it’s good that I’m showing no symptoms.
“It’s one of those things that has unfortunately happened and happened to me.”
However, it’s the timing of the Norwich positive test which is concerning, so close to the season resuming.
The player in question is isolating but City are continuing with their training schedule as planned, as are Tottenham, who the unnamed player was in action against as the Canaries won a friendly 2-1 on Friday.
The Norwich players were tested on Thursday ahead of the game and travelled in multiple coaches to allow for social distancing, with the Spurs players confirming that they were not in ‘close contact’ with the player, which is deemed as within two metres for 15 minutes or more as part of government regulations which are being used for football to return.
City’s testing then went ahead as planned today as all clubs continue to try and keep infections as low as possible so that the season be completed, avoiding financial chaos at clubs across the country.
Canaries defender Sean Raggett was out for a meal in a pub in his hometown of Gillingham in Kent on the last night before pubs had to close in March when he had a call from one of the physiotherapists at loan club Portsmouth to say he had tested positive.
He subsequently had to cancel Mother’s Day plans and quickly left the pub, taking to Twitter afterwards to say: “Thank you for people’s concerns I’m feeling good now but self isolating so not to spread anything, if anyone’s come into contact with me over last couple of weeks be careful who you are around, stay safe.”
Former City winger Elliott Bennett is another of the players to have tested positive in the EFL, as Championship clubs prepare to resume on Saturday and League One and League Two clubs prepare just for the play-offs, after their final tables were settled on the points-per-game method.
Bennett, speaking to the website of current club Blackburn Rovers at the end of last month, explained: “I feel fit and healthy. Hopefully this sends out a positive message to the community that perhaps many people have or have had the virus without showing any effects.
“I obviously would never have known if we hadn’t returned to training and taken the tests, because I don’t feel unwell and have got no symptoms whatsoever.
“There seems to have been a lot of hysteria about footballers returning to training, but it’s not a big deal at all. It’s the people who are seriously ill in hospital that we need to worry about, not footballers who are fit and healthy, and who aren’t showing any signs of being unwell.”
All of which shows that staff and players at all clubs have to be very careful as the season resumes amid the country’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people in the UK so far this year, with the virus primarily affecting those over 70 years old or with underlying health conditions.