A player in the third division of Italian football has become the first professional footballer in the country to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The killer virus is continuing to spread, with over 2,800 deaths now recorded globally, and it has now moved into the world of football for the first time.
The affected player, who plays for US Pianese ASD, is 22 years old but has not been named, according to newspaper La Nazione.
A statement on Thursday read: ‘Two new suspected positive cases of Coronavirus in Tuscany. Both are awaiting confirmation by the Higher Institute of Health.
‘One is a 22-year-old man in the Siena province, a Pianese player, who last Saturday had symptoms in a hotel in Alessandria, where he was training with the team ahead of Sunday’s game [at Juventus U-23s].’
Pianese are currently 19th in Group A of Serie C – Italy’s regional third division – and are based in the Tuscany region in the west of the country.
The player put himself into voluntary quarantine, according to the reports, before testing positive for COVID-19.