Three matches from Esiliiga B, the third tier of Estonian club football, have been postponed from their original set dates for this week, after a player from Võru club FC Helios tested positive for coronavirus.
Said player last took part in training on August 10 and 11. He skipped subsequent training sessions as well as an Esiliiga B match on August 15, due to a runny nose.
The player tested for coronavirus on August 15, and a day later the test returned a positive result. A repeat sample taken on Monday was announced on Tuesday morning to have tested positive as well.
Tõnu Sirel, director general of the Estonian Football Association, said: "Helios Võru on August 16 notified us of a positive coronavirus test."
He added that a meeting of the crisis committee of the Estonian Football Association was convened immediately to agree about further steps.
The Health Board (Terviseamet) has identified all people who took part in the training session of Helios on August 11 as contacts of the infected person, which means that they must self-isolate for 14 days.
The Võru-based club and the Estonian Football Association agreed that also those people who took part in the training session on August 10 will self-isolate. As a result, the Esiliiga B matches of Helios Võru scheduled for August 20 and 23 have been postponed.
On August 15, Helios Võru played Rakvere JK Tarvas in an Esiliiga B match. Although the player who tested positive did not take part in that match, the crisis committee of the Football Association decided to postpone also an Esiliiga B match involving Rakvere JK Tarvas scheduled for August 20.
There are no contacts of the Helios player who tested positive among the players of the Rakvere club and the referees at this point.
However, as a precaution, the Football Association also decided against assigning the referees and the observer of referees of the Tarvas vs Helios match on August 15 to other matches to be played over the coming week.
The Football Association and Helios Võru have identified all the players who were present at the training of Helios on August 10-11, has communicated with the Voru and Rakvere clubs and is ready to help them, including by postponing certain matches, as also some of the coaches are in self-isolation.
At the beginning of next week, when the self-isolation period for the Helios players ends, repeat testing will be arranged for all players of Helios who took part in the training sessions on August 10 and 11.
"We thank the Helios Võru club for fast and competent cooperation, and we can also commend the behavior of the player who tested positive, as he stayed at home immediately when a mild symptom of illness occurred. We are asking all payers, coaches and employees of other clubs to exercise great care and behave with utmost responsibility," the director general of the Estonian Football Association said.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste