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Ligue 1 opener POSTPONED as Marseille announce four players tested positive for coronavirus

Marseille’s opening fixture of the new Ligue 1 season has been postponed after they announced they have three new cases of coronavirus – and four in total.

Andre Villas-Boas’ side were due to kick off the new campaign against Saint-Etienne at their Stade Velodrome stadium on Friday night.

But the club carried out more tests on Monday and, while no new cases were found, three positive tests from Sunday were confirmed, as well as Jordan Amavi’s positive case from last week.

A la suite des tests effectués ce lundi, aucun nouveau cas de #COVID19 n’a été révélé, mais les 3 cas suspects de dimanche ont été confirmés.

Le club a transmis l’ensemble des éléments à la @LFPfr. pic.twitter.com/jUU0uJL2wD

Former Aston Villa defender Amavi tested positive last week while ex-Crystal Palace goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, Maxime Lopez and Valentin Rongier are the three new cases, claim La Provence.

A source close to the team reportedly said: ‘Everyone is fine, they would all be asymptomatic apparently.’

Both Marseille and Saint-Etienne quickly announced their game has been called off on Tuesday morning. The French league said in a statement that the game will be played on September 16 or 17.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel’s rules state that if a team has more than three players or members of backroom staff test positive over the course of eight days than a game can be postponed. 

The LFP’s ‘Covid Commission’ were due to meet again on Tuesday after already holding initial talks over the possibility of postponing the game on Monday.

Marseille were forced to cancel a friendly against Stuttgart last week after Amavi tested positive for Covid-19. 

The French season is preparing to start again after the 2019-20 campaign was curtailed due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Protocol at the time stated that professional sports in France could not return before September but the government has since given the green light for the top flight to return this weekend.

Fellow Ligue 1 side Nimes Olympique also announced on Tuesday morning that they have suspicions over two positive cases within their ranks. 

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