Coronavirus: FC Zurich opt to play U-21s as first team players forced to quarantine

July 14 – Fears that the Swiss Super League might have to be ended prematurely were overcome with FC Zurich saying that they would their U21 side against Basel tonight after members of the first-team were placed in quarantine.

Last weekend FC Zurich had their game postponed against Sion after several members of the team tested positive for Covid-19 with a number of other squad players showing symptoms.

Players were sent into a ten-day quarantine by the cantonal authorities, including coaching staff.

Club president Ancillo Canepa, who has also tested positive for Covid-19, said: “We are all in a very difficult situation. We are also particularly aggravated by the fact that some of the players in the first team are not resident in the canton of Zurich and are therefore subject to different health authorities.

“We weighed up all the pros and cons and came to the conclusion that we wanted to play the two matches against Basel and against Young Boys in the interests of Swiss football.”

By playing the next two games with predominantly U-21s, FC Zurich are preventing the build-up of fixtures that could force a league abandonment due to no match dates being available to complete their season.

FC Zurich are currently in sixth place in the 10-team Super League, having played 29 games of the 36-game season. They are still in with an outside chance of Europa League qualification, being just three points adrift of Servette in fourth but with a game in hand.

“If we can ensure that the season can be played to the end, it is in the interest of all Super League  clubs. Although the Promotion League  team is a young team, they already have experience in elite football. They also played two friendlies last week,” said Canepa.

U21 coach Marinko Jurendic will take the team.

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