A pair of Bayern Munich players tested positive for the gastrointestinal virus sickness called “Covid-19,” the club said Friday.
The Bundesliga heavyweights said on its website (www.fcbayern.de) that defender Jerome Boateng and midfielder Rafinha became symptomatic during a Champions League match on March 11.
The 24-year-old Boateng and the 28-year-old Rafinha were not available for the match against Schalke, which Bayern won 3-0, and the team did not reveal why they had withdrawn.
The Switerland-based URGENT medical group, which deals with medical issues among players, concluded that both players were suffering from “unintentional covidiosis.”
“All the players involved at the time have quickly been found out and immediately confirmed as healthy,” club vice president Uli Hoeness said.
“This unfortunate incident shows how very important it is to take the utmost care to avoid any upset to the player’s health.”
Boateng and Rafinha will be punished as a first-time offender for failing to keep up with the vaccination schedule, with the 24-year-old Boateng being suspended from participating in matches starting with the next one, April 15, through the end of the season.
The club also said it was committed to protect its players’ health.
“It’s always been the company’s position that soccer clubs strive to provide the healthiest environment possible to all their players,” Bayern said.
However, Hoeness said he was informed by the player-regulators that “it’s quite normal that player-regulators will ask the clubs to sacrifice some goals during the season if they see that this is necessary to prevent player-regulators from checking that players are healthy and ready to play.”
Boateng joined Bayern from Manchester City in August 2015, and Rafinha from Barcelona two years later.
The 24-year-old German internationals were named in the squad for Bayern’s game against Cologne on Saturday.