Fatih Terim, the coach of Turkish soccer team Galatasaray, said on Monday he had tested positive for coronavirus and was being treated in hospital.
“According to test results today, my coronavirus results came out positive. I am in safe hands in a hospital. Do not worry,” Terim wrote on his Twitter account.
Turkish soccer, basketball and volleyball leagues, which were among the last to continue playing matches, were suspended indefinitely last week due to the widening coronavirus outbreak.
“Within the framework of measures taken against the coronavirus, all matches of soccer, basketball, volleyball, and handball have been postponed,” Sports Minister Muharrem Kasapoglu said after meeting the heads of sports federations in Ankara.
Turkey had come under international pressure to postpone its competitions after the overwhelming majority of European soccer leagues, and several others globally shut down.
Galatasaray’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao joined the chorus of footballers criticizing the decision to continue playing. “People are dying around the world and we are talking to play football,” he said on Twitter.
Terim took a swipe at the federation after playing an Istanbul derby against Besiktas inside an empty Turk Telekom Stadium on Sunday.
“We have been facing a global problem. Countries have been declaring a state of emergencies [against the pandemic]. All events are canceled in the country. [However,] you make us play the game without spectators and under risk. Under which scientific approach and precautions do you make us play?” the coach asked after the game.