Willem II, Roda JC matches get green light despite coronavirus cases in Tilburg & Germany
The Eredivisie football match between Willem II and FC Groningen will go ahead as planned at the Tilburg team's stadium Friday night. The first positive test result for coronavirus strain Covid-19 was reported in Loon op Zand, a few kilometers north of the Noord-Brabant city, and less than ten kilometers away from Koning Willem II Stadium, where the match will kick-off at 8 p.m.
Theo Weterings, the mayor of Tilburg, said at a press conference on Friday that he saw no reason no reason for sports matches and other events to be called off in the city. The man who tested positive in Loon op Zand was reportedly doing well, and was being treated at the Elisabeth-Tweesteden Hospital in Tilburg.
The Eerste Divisie football match between Roda JC and FC Dordrecht will also continue as usual, Roda JC said on Twitter late Friday afternoon. The team from Kerkrade, Limburg, said it worked closely with health service GGD to determine if the match, also set for Friday at 8 p.m., should be played.
At least one person in Aachen, Germany, across the border from Kerkrade, was diagnosed with coronavirus. Several others also tested positive in the region along the Limburg border, with hundreds told to remain in quarantine.
Dutch football association KNVB said it was monitoring the situation closely, with its staff in close contact with national health authorities RIVM and GGD, as well as the responsible government ministries. Thus far, no professional or amateur football matches have been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
"If measures are imposed by the government that may also affect football, we will let you know as soon as possible," the KNVB said in a statement.
A woman from Diemen, who works at the Amsterdam University Medical Center, was the second person in the Netherlands to be diagnosed with Covid-19, after the Loon op Zand man. She is also said to be in good condition and in quarantine at her home.
Both patients had recently returned from the Lombardy region of Italy, where hundreds of people were diagnosed with the virus.
The Dutch government launched a helpline number Netherlands residents can call with questions about the coronavirus. The number is 0800-1351.