East Asia Japan

Sanfrecce Match Postponed Again as COVID-19 Strikes Sagan Tosu

Sanfrecce Hiroshima found themselves having to postpone yet another match of their 2020 season as their upcoming J.League Cup opponents Sagan Tosu became the latest victim of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Several people within Tosu were tested positive for the coronavirus, which included Tosu head coach Kim Myung-hwi.

Sanfrecce were set to take on Tosu in Wednesday’s 2020 J.League Cup Matchweek 3 action at the Hiroshima Big Arch, however with COVID-19 haunting Tosu, both Sanfrecce and the J.League were forced to take preventive measures and postpone the upcoming match. This was Sanfrecce’s second postponed match this season, with the league having postponed an earlier J.League 1 match against Nagoya Grampus after two Nagoya players and a staff member of the Aichi Prefecture-based club were tested positive for COVID-19 on late July.

Tosu head coach Kim Myung-hwi was the first person at the club to be tested positive for COVID-19. The 39-year old South Korean previously felt unwell during Tosu’s J1 clash against Kashima Antlers on Saturday, before he was struck by a fever on Sunday. Myung-hwi took a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on Monday at a hospital in Saga Prefecture, which came out positive. Three non-playing staffs have isolated themselves immediately after the test result, having coming into close contact with Myung-hwi in the days leading up to his diagnosis.

In the light of this, Tosu subsequently tested all of their players and staff members on Tuesday and only hours before the Kyushu-based side were due to kick-off their J.League Cup game in Hiroshima, the results came out and they were quite daunting for Tosu. An unnamed Tosu player and a Tosu staff member were tested positive for COVID-19, while around 7 people are still waiting for their test results to come out as they were suspected to be positive. A Tosu youth team coach had previously gone down with a fever for two days straight and recovered on Wednesday – his PCR test result came out negative. Earlier, another unnamed Tosu player came down with a fever on the eve of Tosu’s J1 clash against FC Tokyo on August 2nd, however he was tested negative for the coronavirus.

The J.League have yet to decide on when both of Sanfrecce’s postponed matches – the J1 clash against Nagoya and the J.League Cup clash against Tosu, both at the Hiroshima Big Arch – will take place.