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Premier League coronavirus testing: Bournemouth player one of two new positives

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‘We have to be flexible’ – Premier League chief executive Richard Masters speaks to BBC sports editor Dan Roan

An unnamed Bournemouth player is one of two new coronavirus cases discovered by the latest round of Premier League tests – taking the overall total of positive results to eight.

The Cherries said the player’s identity will not be disclosed – they will now self-isolate for seven days.

The other positive was at a different club which has not been named.

Tests took place on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of last week, with 996 players and club staff tested.

“Following strict adherence to the Premier League’s return to training regulations, the club’s training ground remains a safe working environment for players and backroom staff, who will continue to be tested for Covid-19 twice per week,” said Bournemouth.

The first round’s results, announced on 19 May, saw six positives at three clubs from the 748 players and staff tested.

That number included the positive tests of Watford’s Adrian Mariappa and Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan.

For the second round of testing the number of tests available to each club was increased from 40 to 50.

Squads started non-contact training from Tuesday for the first time since the Premier League was suspended on 13 March because of the coronavirus pandemic, with 92 fixtures remaining.

Speaking on Friday, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said the league was “as confident as we can be” about restarting in June.

Germany’s Bundesliga has already resumed, while on Saturday the Spanish Prime Minister said La Liga can resume behind closed doors from 8 June.

What’s next?

The guidance for the second phase of training, which would allow contact, is waiting to be signed off by the government.

The Premier League is due to meet on Wednesday and Thursday for further discussions about restarting the season, with the results of the third round of testing also due later in the week.

Players quiz government on BAME risks

Watford captain Troy Deeney and former Arsenal striker Ian Wright were among those who quizzed government officials on Friday about the added dangers that coronavirus might pose towards black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) players.

The Office for National Statistics says black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die from coronavirus as white people in England and Wales.

Hornets forward Deeney and Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante opted to stay away from club training this week as a precaution.

In a “frank and open” online meeting, medical experts, including deputy chief medical offer Jonathan Van-Tam, were asked to quantify risks.

Deeney and Wright, who were also joined in the online forum by former Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi and former Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo, were told that the risk among young and healthy footballers was low.

But concerns were also raised about passing the infection on to family members.

The Professional Footballers’ Association, which was also in attendance, has asked for more research to be conducted into the issue.

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