Coronavirus Singapore

Tampines Rovers player tests positive after Uzbekistan trip

A Tampines Rovers Football Club (TRFC) footballer tested positive for the coronavirus upon the team's return from their Asian Champions League (ACL) campaign in Uzbekistan on Monday. He is believed to be the first Singaporean athlete to have contracted Covid-19 while on duty.

The club said the player, who is believed to be unvaccinated, is asymptomatic. The Straits Times understands that he remains under observation at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

Tampines had been in Tashkent for their maiden ACL campaign and their journey home included a nine-hour transit in Dubai.

Their involvement in the group stage of the continent's top club competition kicked off on June 25 and ended on July 10.

In a statement, the club said: "All the members of our travelling party observed a strict protocol and were confined within a playing bubble with regular Covid-19 tests before every match in Tashkent.

"The rest of our squad are all serving a two-week quarantine at designated quarantine hotels in accordance with the Ministry of Health's protocols."

Tampines Rovers chairman Desmond Ong said the club has been in touch with the player's family and will offer "every bit of support needed". He said: "We'll be there, whatever they need."

The Stags lost all six of their matches in Uzbekistan against South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Japan's Gamba Osaka and Thailand's Chiangrai United, scoring once and conceding 27 goals.

At home, they are fourth in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) with 21 points.

Their domestic campaign had been due to resume on Aug 4 after a 14-day quarantine but the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has now indicated that Tampines' Aug 4 fixture against Lion City Sailors could be delayed.

In a statement on the SPL website, it said: "The FAS will take all necessary measures to ensure that health and safety of the TRFC players and officials, as well as those from the SPL participating clubs, are prioritised before TRFC are given clearance to safely return to training and competitive matches after their quarantine period."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2021, with the headline 'Tampines Rovers player tests positive after Uzbekistan trip'. Subscribe