Flora-Levadia rivalry match postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases

2019 Estonian Premium Liiga: FCI Levadia - FC Flora.
2019 Estonian Premium Liiga: FCI Levadia - FC Flora. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

A match between Estonian football powerhouses FC Flora and FCI Levadia was scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening but was postponed after a Levadia player tested positive for the coronavirus.

The infected Levadia player went through testing on Monday because a close contact of his gave a positive test a few days earlier. Test results came back on Tuesday with the player also going through repeat testing, which confirmed his infection. His last contact with the team was on Saturday, October 31.

All other Levadia players and coaches gave tests on 2 p.m. on Tuesday and 8 a.m. on Wednesday. All those came back negative.

Wednesday's rivalry meeting between the two most succesful Estonian teams in history was postponed due to the virus' infection period and as Levadia players are considered close contacts, their status is being monitored.

As the Estonian national team is looking at three international matches in the period of November 11-18, the Flora-Levadia match would have meant all players, a lot of them national team members, would have been directed to self-isolation.

Estonian Football Association (EJL) spokesperson Mihkel Uiboleht said: "We will not allow any matches be played if they are dangerous to health. We will discuss the situation in the coming days, certainly speak to the Health Board (Terviseamet), listen to their advice and then make our decisions. The Premium League (domestic top league - ed.) is scheduled to conclude this weekend, but since Wednesday's match was postponed, the season's finish will be pushed back."

Uiboleht continued: "The postponed Levadia-Flora match has a spot in the calendar but if there are more matches of this kind, it will get more complicated. Ther is a match between Levadia and Tallinna Legion scheduled for the weekend, that could be played during the international break, but if there are more of these matches and a chain reaction develops, we must being looking at where these matches can be postponed."

Estonian club Nõmme Kalju went through a similar situation as a UEFA Europa League match in August had to be canceled because a player for Kalju tested positive for COVID-19 on August 23, having played in a domestic league game the day before. The outbreak at Kalju totaled 17 team members in mid-September.

Uiboleht said: "In the end of August, a situation where initial tests were negative and then positive tests came in later, also happened with Nõmme Kalju. I think it was smart and reasonable to postpone this match to avoid further escalation."

An infection at the Estonian Football Association

The offices of the Estonian Football Association (EJL) will work from home until November 18 as one of the employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Tõnu Sirel, director of the EJL, said: "The employee gave a test on Tuesday, the positive result came on Wednesday. We mapped the close contacts in the office and notified them. A majority of the office are not close contacts but we consider it reasonable to work from home going forward."

He added that close contacts must now self-isolate. Sirel said all association workers must contact their family physician in case any symptoms begin to show. In addition, employees must go through testing again before they can return to work.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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