Coronavirus Outbreak: Japan defender Gotoku Sakai tests positive for COVID-19, confirms club Vissel Kobe

Sakai, who has 42 caps for Japan, first reported having a fever on Wednesday and was diagnosed with acute upper respiratory infection in a hospital the following day

Reuters March 30, 2020 19:26:11 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Japan defender Gotoku Sakai tests positive for COVID-19, confirms club Vissel Kobe

Tokyo: Japan defender Gotoku Sakai has tested positive for coronavirus , his club Vissel Kobe confirmed on Monday, becoming the first J League player to be named as having the virus.

 <span class=Coronavirus Outbreak Japan defender Gotoku Sakai tests positive for COVID19 confirms club Vissel Kobe" width="380" height="285" />

File image of Gotoku Sakai. AFP

Sakai, who has 42 caps for Japan, first reported having a fever on Wednesday and was diagnosed with acute upper respiratory infection in a hospital the following day. His positive test for coronavirus was confirmed on Monday, the club said.

Kobe said no other player in the squad, which includes Spanish World Cup winner Andres Iniesta, had shown any symptoms.

“Currently, there is no other player or staff member giving symptoms of the new coronavirus infectious disease other than Gotoku Sakai,” the club said in a statement.

“In correspondence with the instructions of the public health centre, we are looking at identifying those in close contact and the complete sterilization of the “Ibuki” training facilities.”

The 29-year-old defender joined Kobe from German side Hamburg last season.

Like most major sporting competitions across the world, the J.League has been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak with the last match being played in late February.

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