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Marseille boss Villas-Boas urges support for virus-infected players

Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas on Wednesday urged support for the club’s players infected by coronavirus.

The club announced Tuesday the positive COVID-19 tests for three players, taking to four the number infected.

The positive tests saw the French league forced into postponing the opening match of the 2020/21 Ligue 1 season, which had been scheduled to be between Marseille and Saint-Etienne on Friday.

“Unfortunately we live this week between a certain anxiety and bad news,” Villas-Boas said.

“The pandemic that stubbornly continues to scare and affect so many families has ended up knocking on our door.”

Villas-Boas vowed that “we will soon be together again”.

“It’s the moment to be careful and to support others and at the same time keep hope for the time ahead.”

Some 40 players from 11 clubs have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks. 

The vast majority contracted the virus after resuming training in June, leading to quarantine and a flurry of cancelled pre-season matches.

In further bad news, Montpellier coach Michel Der Zakarian was forced into cancelling Wednesday morning’s training session after another player tested positive for the virus — the seventh to have done so since the start of the week.

As a precaution, Saturday’s friendly against Metz at Besancon was called off, with the entire Montpellier squad to undergo further testing Thursday.

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