PARIS (AP) – Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) called off its upcoming trip to Qatar and Saudi Arabia yesterday because of coronavirus concerns.
The French league leader was scheduled to fly to Qatar for a three-day training camp starting on Sunday and then play a friendly match in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on January 19.
“In view of the health situation in France, Paris Saint-Germain has decided to postpone the Qatar Winter Tour 2022 to protect the health of its staff and players,” PSG said. The club is owned by the Qatari state.
PSG’s squad has been hit by COVID-19 cases this month, with Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler the latest players to contract the virus, which forced them to miss Sunday’s league game at Lyon.
Lionel Messi contracted the virus while he was in Argentina during the mid-season winter break. He has since tested negative.
The German football league’s governing body said that most of the players and staff in the top two tiers have had a booster vaccination.
League board member Ansgar Schwenken said that “of the more than 90 per cent of all of the players, coaches and support persons who have been vaccinated, more than 70 per cent have already received a booster vaccination”.
The statement comes as squads are starting to recover from a wave of coronavirus infections among players returning from vacation during the winter break. The absences disrupted most of last week’s games.
Goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer was one of six Bayern Munich players who returned to training after isolation yesterday, along with Alphonso Davies and Leroy Sané.