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Coronavirus: Cologne plan quarantine-like training camp, Verstraete backtracks over comments

5 months ago
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Cologne announced they will head into a training camp in a protected location if politicians approve to conclude the 2019-20 campaign.

Cologne are planning to move into a "quarantine-like" training camp after the Bundesliga club were hit with three positive coronavirus tests.

On Friday, Cologne announced three unspecified people at the club contracted COVID-19 amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought the Bundesliga and sport to a standstill globally.

The trio – which reportedly consists of two players and a physio – were consequently told to undergo a 14-day quarantine procedure.

A decision on the potential resumption of the Bundesliga is set to be made on Wednesday and Cologne announced they will head into a training camp in a protected location if politicians approve to conclude the 2019-20 campaign.

"This form of voluntary quarantine extends the existing infection control and hygiene concept and is intended to further reduce the risk of infection from COVID-19," Cologne said on Sunday. "The measure will be/has been taken regardless of the results of the COVID-19 tests at FC.

"The concept of the 'Task Force Sports Medicine/ Extraordinary Matchday Operation' of the DFL already provides that all teams go to quarantine-like training camps one week before the games restart. FC, however, prefer to start this period at the beginning of team training."

It comes after Cologne midfielder Birger Verstraete expressed his concern with the club still training amid the positive COVID-19 tests – though the Belgian has since apologised.

Verstraete spoke to Belgian TV station VTM and criticised Cologne for their handling of the three positive cases.

After Cologne responded and dismissed Verstraete's comments, the 26-year-old said: "I gave an interview about my personal concerns about my girlfriend potentially getting the virus. I expressed myself falsely in a few places, so that in the translation a misunderstanding has came about and I am sorry for that.

"Instead of giving an interview out of emotion, I should have contacted our doctor and had my questions answered. It was not my intention to blame the responsible authorities or Cologne. I feel comfortable and in good hands with FC.

"I will continue to give my all in training ... and I want to end the season in Cologne. My girlfriend, who belongs to the risk group because of a previous heart disease, will head home to Belgium and stay there for the time being."

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