On Sunday, Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay became the first player in LaLiga to test positive for coronavirus. The Spanish club released a statement thereafter to confirm that five positive cases of COVID-19 (including Ezequiel Garay) have been detected amongst Valencia's first-team players and staff.
The club's official statement read, 'Valencia CF inform that five positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been detected amongst first-team staff and players. All of these persons are now at home, in good health and obeying self-isolation measures. Besides providing further information over the coming hours, the club reiterate our support for the health authorities and their social awareness campaigns, and emphasise to all of the population the importance of staying at home and continuing to follow the previously published hygiene and illness-prevention measures.'
While the club failed to mention the names of those affected, multiple reports suggest that along with Garay, French defender Eliaquim Mangala and Spanish full-back Jose Gaya are the two first-team players who contracted the virus. According to Marca, the two remaining people at Valencia to have contracted the coronavirus are the club's matchday staff, Paco Camarasa, and a member of Valencia's medical team, Juan Aliaga.
Garay took to Instagram to confirm the news to his supporters. The defender posted, 'It's clear that 2020 has started on the wrong foot' alongside a smiling selfie giving the thumbs up.
Subsequently, Eliaquim Mangala also took to social media to address his condition after testing positive for COVID-19. The former Manchester City defender wrote, 'I knew today that I am Coronavirus positive. At the moment, I'm feeling good and I have no symptoms associated with the virus. However, I am confined in the house and have no contact with my family.'
With five members of the club testing positive, the club has issued a mandatory self-isolation for all the players to prevent the virus from spreading.
Meanwhile, Italian club Atalanta BC have reportedly put all their players in quarantine after the news regarding the Valencia players broke out. Atalanta faced Valencia in the Champions League Round of 16, where they beat the Spanish side 8-4 on aggregate. The Lombardy-based side beat Valencia 4-3 in an empty Estadio de Mestalla on March 11 in the second-leg fixture.
BREAKING | La Liga President Javier Tebas stated: “I think the competition will be canceled. We are waiting for the decision to be made by UEFA on Tuesday.”— Barça Watch (@BarcaWatch) March 15, 2020
Employees? “95% of La Liga employees work from home.”