Three Flamengo players have tested positive for the coronavirus, casting fresh doubt over plans to restart football in Brazil.
In a statement released late on Wednesday, Flamengo said the club tested 293 people from April 30 to May 3, of whom 38 tested positive. All are asymptomatic and two showed the existence of antibodies, the Rio de Janeiro outfit said, reports Xinhua news agency.
The names of the infected players were not disclosed. Others to test positive included six of Flamengo’s support staff, two workers from companies contracted by the club and 25 family members of players and employees.
The reigning Brazilian Serie A and Copa Libertadores champions said those who tested positive would be ordered to remain in quarantine until further tests showed they no longer have the virus.
“(We are) working in full harmony with government authorities in order to, with full responsibility and security, collaborate with the important return to football activities in the shortest possible time,” the statement said.
Brazilian football has been suspended since mid-March, when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Flamengo conducted the tests after the Rio de Janeiro Football Federation authorized clubs within its jurisdiction to resume training. Flamengo had said it planned to return to training this week.
On Monday, Flamengo’s long-time masseur, Jorge Luiz Domingos, died at the age of 68 after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Brazil has more than 126,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, 8,588 of which have been fatal.