It was expected that KHL would eventually run into Covid-19 issues due to arrogance and lack of safety measures. It now has gotten to the point where the situation is getting worse and worse by the minute. I’ve tried to write this for good two days but each time something new pops up.
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The only Latvian team in the KHL – Dinamo Riga went on their first road trip to Russia and they weren’t able to finish it. Their last opponent Barys Astana had twelve positive Covid-19 cases and the game was postponed. Upon arrival to Riga, a nightmare of their own began with five positive tests within the team. Repeated tests on Monday showed that there are already ten positive cases. Latvian authorities sent them team into two-week quarantine and another game between Riga and Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod was postponed. The reason for the postponement was positive COVID cases on both sides.
”The team will be in quarantine until October 5th. Both players and staff” said Dinamo Riga’s chairman of the board Juris Savickis. ”We will request for the games during the period to be moved to a later date. We are in close contact with KHL’s president Alexei Morozov and we’re discussing how and what to do,” he added.
Now it appears as if the same rules don’t apply to everyone. Per sportacentrs.com – the league has refused to postpone further games and made a demand that Riga’s junior squad HK Riga would step up and replace the team in quarantine, while Barys Astana and Jokerit Helsinki both had their games postponed. Riga is now threatened with technical losses in games that they would refuse to play.
Salavat Yulaev Ufa
Covid-19 pandemic has hit one of the best clubs in the league although it’s not as major as in other situations. Three positive cases after a road trip. Although the team has revealed the names of players that are sick – I’m not willing to go public and share it with the world. What I will mention is that amongst those three is the teams’ head coach who is now replaced by Viktor Kozlov as the team continues to prepare for the upcoming games.
”The coach and players have been assigned to further testing to confirm the test results. They’re all asymptomatic. They’re now in quarantine.” team representative revealed.
Lokomotiv was supposed to play against Kunlun Red Star on Tuesday but they didn’t show up for the game and were handed a technical loss. There were rumors about the spread of the virus amongst the players and staff stating that twelve people have gotten sick. Lokomotiv team didn’t confirm an exact number but said that it was a mass infection within the team.
”Due to Yaroslavl county restrictions, the team has been sent in full quarantine. The players, coaches, and staff are being regularly tested. Previous made on September 21st as well as symptoms to members of the team confirmed our worries. Given the situation, the Lokomotiv team is unable to organize games. Our priority is the safety of our players, coaches, staff as well as the officials and fans.” the team revealed in a statement.
A report surfaced Wednesday that the SKA team has also run into issues related to Covid-19. Almost half of the team including the coaching staff has tested positive forcing them to recall help from their junior squad. For the game against Sibir team sent out ten players that were making their KHL debut. At 20 years and 263 days, this meant that the youngest team to ever play a game in KHL history took the ice. Meanwhile, Team Vice President and GM Roman Rotenberg, consultant Lars Johansson, and development coach Daniel Boughner would take over coaching duties in the interim. Yet the team has yet to announce or comment on the situation.
It’s very unclear how the league can and will continue to operate as the COVID-19 cases keep on growing rapidly but we will make sure to keep you posted as things develop.