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Spanish soccer club rejects coronavirus tests 'for social reasons'

Meredith Cash , Business Insider US
 Mar 19, 2020, 01:41 PM
(Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
  • A soccer club in Spain rejected the opportunity to test players for coronavirus.
  • Real Valladolid - which competes in La Liga - said it refused to administer tests to the team "for medical and social reasons."
  • Players on multiple La Liga squads - including 35% of those tested on Valencia - have received positive COVID-19 diagnoses.
  • Still, a representative for the club insisted that "there are people out there who are much less well off than we are who need them far more than we do. It is those [people] who should have priority."
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Professional athletes have been among the first - and the most high-profile - individuals getting tested for Covid-19 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but at least one team is resisting offers to test its players.

Spanish soccer club Real Valladolid - which competes in La Liga against the likes of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona - refused the league's offer to provide tests for all of its players.

"La Liga offered them to us but we have not taken them for medical and social reasons," club spokesman David Espinar said in a statement. "No player has presented any symptoms and we believe that there are people out there who are much less well off than we are who need them far more than we do. It is those [people] who should have priority."

See also: Covid-19 update: bars must now close at 6PM; spreading fake news with intent can mean jail

Though Espinar said Valladolid players appear to boast a clean bill of health, multiple players across the league who have tested positive for the virus. A whopping 35% of the players tested for the coronavirus on Valencia's roster have received positive diagnoses. Similarly, 15 players and counting from Deportivo Alavés, another La Liga club, have tested positive for Covid-19.

The white and violets have not faced either Valencia or Deportivo Alavés since the start of 2020.

Valladolid felt the tests would be more useful if allocated elsewhere - a sentiment echoed by Spanish football federation (RFEF) President Luis Rubiales:

"I think it is irresponsible when there are patients with much more at stake than a competition, with life itself [at stake]," Rubiales said, per The Guardian. "It is not appropriate to be using tests [at clubs] when there are people who need tests. It fails to see reality."

"The authorities have said this: if anyone has a test, masks, gloves, hand them over. Hospitals are running out," Rubiales added. "There's someone sending tests to [clubs]: that's a lack of solidarity, it could even be illegal. He should be ashamed. We don't want that, and it's anti-patriotic."

Play for Valladolid and the rest of La Liga has been suspended indefinitely, but league president Javier Tebas has suggested gameplay could recommence as soon as mid-May.

For more information direct from the source, see also:

the NICD hotline for Covid-19 is: 0800-029-999.

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