Zamalek goalkeeper Mohamed Awad said on Friday he had tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first player in the Egyptian Premier League to reveal his infection.
It was not immediately clear whether Awad opted to undergo the PCR test on his own, given Zamalek’s insistence that their players would not have the tests ahead of the scheduled league resumption on 25 July.
“My coronavirus test is positive, your prayers (are needed),” the 27-year-old said on Twitter.
Awad used to be Zamalek’s regular goalie after joining in the summer of 2019 from fellow Premier League side Ismaily but was demoted to the bench after a series of costly errors, with Mohamed Abou-Gabal taking his place at the turn of the year.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has recently said that the coronavirus cases detected among league clubs have increased to 11, with the likes of Enppi, Ittihad of Alexandria and Gouna confirming infections among their players and technical staff members.
The clubs did not identify those who contracted the virus as per guidelines introduced by the EFA.
Zamalek said on Wednesday they would withdraw from the league over coronavirus concerns, becoming the only club to make such a threat even though there are other sides who oppose the competition’s resumption.
Defending champions Ahly are the overwhelming favourites to win a fifth straight title as they top the table with 49 points after 17 games, 16 ahead of the nearest challengers Arab Contractors, who have played one game more than the Red Devils.
Zamalek are fourth in the table with 31 points, having played a game less than Ahly and two less than Arab Contractors.