SSC Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen has been named at the centre of a scare over a likely infestation of his club’s camp by coronavirus, following his on-field spat with an opposing player during last weekend’s Italian Serie A clash with Genoa, who have now confirmed that 14 of their stars are down with COVID-19, megasportsarena.com reports.
While that revelation has also put a cloud of doubt over the continuation of matches in the top-flight Italian league this weekend, the medical crew at Napoli had to quickly start tests on all of their players, with Osimhen singled out for particular mention, due to the face-to-face shouting spell he had with Genoa’s Andrea Masiello last Sunday at Stadio San Paolo in Naples.
The immediate punishment Osimhen got for that was a 90th minute yellow card, which became his first booking since joining Napoli from Lille Metropole of France in August, but more tension was let loose around his club’s base when reports filtered in that several of Genoa’s players had joined their goalkeeper, Mattia Perin and midfielder, Lasse Schone, who earlier tested positive for COVID-19 and missed their team’s 6-0 slump away to Napoli.
Napoli’s camp and the entire Italian football scene were later on thrown into a huge quandary after a tell-tale photograph appeared in the media, showing Osimhen in a massive mouth-to-mouth encounter with Masiello, with the graphic shot highlighted on the covers of major daily publications – including La Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport.
In a swift reaction to the publications, which went viral on Wednesday, a member of Napoli’s medical crew, Vincenzo Mirone admitted it would be difficult to organise the squad for their trip and match away to Juventus on Sunday, as all the players will have to go through precautionary tests for coronavirus, and the results might not be available until Saturday.
He then went on to mention in particular worries over the incident involving Osimhen, which he acknowledged cannot be waved aside with a cursory hand, even as he confirmed that the crew had started applying tests for COVID-19 on all the players that were involved in last Sunday’s win over The Grifoni, as well as everyone they came in contact with after the match.
Mirone told Radio Marte in part: “I haven’t heard from [Doctor Raffaele] Canonico, but the concern is considerable, during the game there were situations where players went face to face, like between Osimhen and Masiello.”
However, while Osimhen came in close contact with Masiello during the game on Sunday, the Super Eagles’ rookie can now heave a sigh of relief after it was confirmed that the opposing lad was not one of Genoa’s player that tested positive for COVID-19.
That brought about some relaxed nerves and a change to taut emotions that immediately trailed Genoa’s revelation that 12 members of their match squad had contracted the highly contagious respiratory disease, taking the total number of cases at the club to 14 now down with the virus that is still wreaking havoc across the whole wide world.
“Genoa have activated all the procedures provided for by the coronavirus protocol and informed the relevant authorities. The club will give updates as the situation evolves,” read a statement by the club that once had former Super Eagles’ striker, Stephen Ayodele Makinwa on their cards.
In reaction, Napoli immediately announced that their players and staff will face a fresh round of coronavirus tests before the current table-toppers’ trip for Sunday’s much-anticipated fixture away to defending champions, Juventus; in which pundits are already talking about seeing the contrasting style of Osimhen adjacent to that of Cristiano Ronaldo.
That prospect may still be on, though, as updated reports late Wednesday revealed that the Genoa player who had a face-off with Osimhen is not among the 14 diagnosed with COVID-19, thereby according everyone at Napoli renewed hope that none of them had been infected.
Futhermore, Napoli also later confirmed that all tests conducted earlier in the wek returned negative results and the next round of testing on Thursday afternoon were meant to assured the crew that they had nothing to worry about ahead of their Serie A match against Juventus on Sunday.
Osimhen’s fans would also be relieved to read a post on social media by @Carloalvino which disclosed: “Andrea Masiello is NOT one of the Genoa players that have tested positive for Covid-19. He is not on the list that Genoa have given to Napoli. That’s one big sigh of relief! “