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Linfield's Champions League tie today postponed due to 'Covid-19 issues'

The news was confirmed less than two hours before the scheduled kick-off time.

A general view of the National Stadium (file pic).
A general view of the National Stadium (file pic).
Image: Matt Mackey/INPHO

LINFIELD’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE tie, which had been due to take place today, has been postponed, Uefa have confirmed.

News of the match’s abandonment came less than two hours before the scheduled kick-off time.

The NIFL Premiership side had been due to face FC Drita in Nyon at 5pm today, but the match was called off after a second player from the Kosovan side tested positive for Covid-19.

A Uefa statement read: “Following a decision taken by the Swiss health authorities in cooperation with Uefa to put the whole team of KF Drita (KOS) into quarantine after a second player from the Kosovo side had tested positive for Covid-19, the upcoming Uefa Champions League preliminary round match between KF Drita and Linfield FC (NIR) – scheduled for on 11 August at 18:00 CET in Nyon, Switzerland – cannot be played.

“The player, who tested positive yesterday (Monday 10 August) had previously produced a negative test for Covid-19 on Friday 7 August as part of the comprehensive testing system put into place by Uefa in accordance with the Uefa Return to Play Protocol and approved by the local authorities in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland.

“The whole team of KF Drita had also tested negative prior to their arrival in Switzerland.

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“On Friday, in a separate case, a player from KF Drita returned a positive result for Covid-19 following testing on the eve of their match against Inter Club d’Escaldes (AND) in accordance with the Uefa’s above-mentioned protocol.

“This player was put into quarantine, together with one teammate after tracing found he had come into close contact with the affected player.

This second positive test of a player who was in contact with other members of the delegation over the last days has prompted the Swiss authorities to put the whole Kosovan team into quarantine. Accordingly, the upcoming fixture cannot be played.

“The matter will now be submitted to the Uefa Control and Disciplinary Body, for a decision to be taken in accordance with Annex I of the 2020/21 Uefa Champions League regulations, which was approved by the Uefa Executive Committee last week.

“Uefa would like to reinforce the importance for all teams, players, officials and all those involved to fully respect the Uefa Return to Play Protocol.”

A Linfield statement on Twitter added: “The club has been advised by @UEFA that this evening’s @ChampionsLeague Preliminary Round tie against @FCDRITA has been postponed due to Covid 19 issues within the Kosovan team. Further details will follow once we hear the outcome from Uefa’s Disciplinary body.”

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