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Entire team of CSKA Moscow football club tests negative for COVID-19

CSKA Moscow’s foreign footballers, who are also known as legionnaires, will be cleared to arrive in the Russian capital by the end of the week, according to official information

MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. All tests taken by players as well as the coaching and administrative staff from the Russian football club CSKA Moscow for COVID-19 have yielded negative results, the club’s press office announced in a statement on Wednesday.

"All players of the club as well as the coaching and administrative staff in Moscow have taken tests for COVID-19," the statement reads. "The results are negative."

CSKA Moscow’s foreign footballers, who are also known as legionnaires, will take tests for the novel coronavirus as soon as they arrive in the Russian capital.

The first positive case of the novel coronavirus among Russian footballers was reported on May 16, when Lokomotiv Moscow FC’s Peruvian striker Jefferson Farfan tested positive for COVID-19. Two more cases of the COVID-19 disease were later registered with Konstantin Pliyev from Rubin Kazan FC and Roman Yevgenyev from Dynamo Moscow FC.

The RPL (Russian Premier League) Executive Board made a decision last Friday to resume matches of the Russian Football Championship on June 21. They had been postponed several times earlier this year due to the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus.

Prior to the RPL shutdown, the league’s clubs completed 22 out of 30 scheduled rounds of the championship. On April 1, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) recommended restarting national football tournaments.

After 22 rounds of the 2019/2020 season of the Russian Championship, Zenit St. Petersburg FC ranks first in the tournament’s standings with 50 points, while CSKA Moscow FC is fifth with 36 points.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 5,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 325,200 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 1,972,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, a total of 308,705 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 85,392 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 2,927 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.