A-League footballer becomes the first professional footballer to test positive for the deadly coronavirus in Australia
An unnamed Newcastle Jets player has become the first professional footballer in Australia to test positive for coronavirus.
The precautionary test for a pre-scheduled international flight was part of the Jets squad for last weekend’s A-League games against Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City.
He was asymptomatic, and Jets’ CEO Lawrie McKinna said he is in good health.
“He was okay, no symptoms at all,” McKinna told AAP.
“He’s tested positive … because we’ve found that the player and his family are isolated and the rest of the team doesn’t have to go into isolation.
“It is clear that we keep an eye on the health of the players. It is absolutely real. ‘
The test result came back on Friday, McKinna confirmed.
The Football Association of Australia suspended the A-League until April 22 due to increasing travel restrictions due to the corona virus pandemic.
The decision was made less than 24 hours after the Jets defeated Melbourne City 2-1 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Monday evening.
In a statement, the Jets said the player had been quarantined in accordance with the NSW Health protocols.
“Our play team closely monitors their health and will isolate themselves if they experience symptoms,” the statement said.
Late on Saturday, Wellington Phoenix confirmed that a non-playing club member had also tested positive for COVID-19.
“The club works fully with all relevant health authorities and is focused on supporting the workforce, ensuring that all government protocols are meticulously adhered to,” the club said.
All Phoenix players and agents who have had direct contact with the employee are monitored for potential symptoms and tested for signs of infection.
The Phoenix flew to New Zealand after the league was suspended and spent more than a week in isolation in Sydney in an attempt to fulfill their remaining games by remaining in Australia.
It is unclear whether the staff member contracted the virus during that stay, on the flight home or at a later date.