German football match canceled after 18 virus cases at club


SANDHAUSEN, Germany –

A German second-division soccer match was postponed on Friday after one of the clubs reported 18 new cases of coronavirus among players and staff.

The outbreak has left Sandhausen without enough players for Sunday’s game against league leader St. Pauli to go as planned, the German Football League ruled. He has not set a new date.

Sandhausen said Thursday evening that the players presented with symptoms similar to a common cold in training on Wednesday and that 12 players and six staff subsequently tested positive for the virus. They are all isolated.

Football matches in Germany have been moved or postponed several times last season due to epidemics in the teams. It has become a rarity this season after the vaccination program rolled out to younger age groups.

The positive tests for the players come amid an increase in the number of cases of the virus in Germany. The country reported a record 37,120 new infections on Friday.

Sandhausen did not say how many people involved had been vaccinated, but team doctor Nikolaus Streich said many cases were symptom-free due to the club’s “very high vaccination status”. The club said it was a strong supporter of immunization programs.