PDC reassures Championship attendees after Raymond Van Barneveld contracts Covid

The five-time world champion revealed he had tested positive after his defeat by Rob Cross on Thursday.

Raymond van Barneveld (file pic).
Raymond van Barneveld (file pic).
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP organisers insist all necessary precautions are in place to safeguard players and fans after Raymond Van Barneveld’s positive test for Covid-19.

Five-time world champion Van Barneveld revealed he had tested positive after his 3-1 defeat by Rob Cross at the Alexandra Palace on Thursday night.

The 54-year-old Dutchman said he did not have any symptoms during the second-round tie but began to feel unwell post-match and later provided a positive test.

A Professional Darts Corporation spokesperson told the PA news agency: “We have been made aware of Raymond’s positive test and send him our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

“We are following approved protocols and have appropriate regulations in place around the William Hill World Darts Championship, one of which is that all players and staff must produce a negative Covid test result on their return to the event after the Christmas break.”

Van Barneveld announced to his fans on Twitter that he had contracted the virus.

He said: “During the match, I didn’t have any symptoms, but afterwards I started to realise that I was developing a shortness of breath and fever.

“I directly called my manager Ben De Kok and he advised to go straight to my hotel room and to not give interviews in order to avoid any risk.

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“At the moment I do suffer from fever and serious tiredness. The upcoming days I will stay in quarantine in London.

“We already spoke with Rob Cross and the PDC about the current situation. Stay safe.”

Van Barneveld, one of only three players to win the world crown five times, retired in 2019, but returned to the sport last year and was attending his 29th World Championship.

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