Ajax trio told to stay away from club over virus fears

Reuters , Friday 6 Mar 2020

Ajax's Dutch midfielder Carel Eiting (L) and Ajax's Dutch forward Quincy Promes react during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and AZ Alkmaar at the Johan Cruijff Arena, in Alkmaar on March 1, 2020 (Photo: AFP)

Ajax Amsterdam have told assistant coach Christian Poulsen and two other members of their training staff to stay away from the club because of fears they might be infected with the coronavirus.

The trio must stay at home until next Friday after Poulsen came in contact with former Danish international Thomas Kahlenberg, who has since been diagnosed with the virus.

Kahlenberg was celebrating Poulsen's 40th birthday in the Netherlands last Sunday.

The other two are exercise physiologist Alessandro Schoenmaker and an unnamed physiotherapist who were also at the party.

"They have no symptoms and if it stays that way they will return to work next week," an Ajax spokesman told Dutch media.

Poulsen, the former Juventus and Liverpool midfielder, will not be able to take his place on the bench alongside coach Erik ten Hag when Ajax travel to Heerenveen at the weekend.

Players from Danish Super League clubs Brondby and Lyngby are in isolation after they met and hugged Kahlenberg, who has since tested positive for coronavirus, at a match last weekend.

Kahlenberg, who played 47 matches for Denmark between 2003 and 2014 and also played for clubs Auxerre and VfL Wolfsburg before retiring in 2017, tested positive on Thursday and has been in quarantine, Brondby said in a statement.

Kahlenberg, who played for Denmark at the 2010 World Cup, was infected during a visit to Amsterdam, it said.

Brondby, who beat Lyngby 1-0 last Sunday, said 13 employees had been put in isolation, including the general manager Ole Palma, defender Joel Kabongo and assistant coach Martin Retov.

Lyngby said three players, who were in physical contact with Kahlenberg on Sunday, had been put in isolation.

Both teams have league games this weekend. The Danish FA said that for now all matches will go ahead as planned this coming weekend, but that it is monitoring the situation.

The clubs said they are working with the Danish Patient Authority to track down players, fans and members of staff who were in contact with Kahlenberg during Sunday's match.

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