Football Tribe SEA Editor
Last night Liga 1 Indonesia giants Persib Bandung announced that their players and staff are performing preventive measures after one of the club’s players has been tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). And while an initial article from Fox Sports Asia said that the club had refrained from announcing the player’s name, 4 hours after the article went online Persib tweeted a video message from the player in question – newly signed Brazilian striker Wander Luiz.
In the 40-second video uploaded to Persib’s official Twitter account, former Long An, Quang Nam, XSKT Can Tho, and Becamex Binh Duong striker Wander Luiz revealed that despite his COVID-19 diagnosis, he has yet to show any symptoms and is in good health and spirits, and is now currently following the advice from Persib’s medical staff in isolating himself from the general public. Wander Luiz also told everyone to wish him a speedy recovery and advised everyone to stay healthy and be careful during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It was suspected that Wander Luiz contracted COVID-19 from his brief trip to Bali where he visited his parents, shortly after Indonesian football was suspended due to the pandemic in the middle of March. Wander Luiz had scored in Persib’s last game before the suspension, a 2-1 home win over PS Sleman, before he left for Bali around the 16th or 17th of March. The 16th of March also saw a number of Persib players being tested for COVID-19, with 10 of the first-team players in attendance. Wander Luiz returned to Bandung around the 18th of March and on the 19th, he was seen practicing with his teammates at Bandung’s Siliwangi Stadium, with the Brazilian’s father in attendance.
On the 22nd of March, Wander Luiz was part of the Persib squad that played a friendly against their reserve team Bandung United at the Inspire Arena in West Bandung Regency, where he scored once. Around the same time, the disinfection process was being done at Graha Persib, the club’s headquarters, as well as the players’ dormitory at Sidolig Stadium. It was unknown whether this disinfection process was done at the apartments of Persib’s foreign players.
The 26th of March saw Persib conducting another COVID-19 test, this time on players who had returned from overseas travel during the short break that came after the suspension of Indonesian football and before March 19th’s practice. The players tested were Wander Luiz, Omid Nazari, Geoffrey Castillion, and Fabiano Beltrame. Wander Luiz’s diagnosis was announced on the night of March 27th.
Following his diagnosis, Wander Luiz is currently isolating himself in his apartment for the next 14 days, keeping updates regularly regarding his condition with Persib’s medical staff through video call. Medical supplies are also being delivered to Wander Luiz’s apartment as a precaution.
Prior to his diagnosis, Wander Luiz has been in superb form for the Maung Bandung. The Brazilian is now the current top scorer of the 2020 Liga 1 season, with 4 goals from 3 matches, before the league was suspended by both the PSSI (Indonesian FA) and the country’s Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. Despite his stuttering performance during pre-season, Wander Luiz has quickly etched himself as a fan-favorite amongst Persib’s faithful Bobotoh supporters, showing the same deadly scoring prowess that made him a force in the V.League 1.
Everyone at Football Tribe Asia would like to wish a very speedy recovery to Wander Luiz as well as everyone being afflicted by COVID-19 and hope for a quick end to this debilitating pandemic.
Get well soon, Wander Luiz!