Ballymena United squad to self-isolate after Covid cases detected

THE Ballymena United squad has to self-isolate after a ‘positive covid test result’.

The team’s derby match against Coleraine, due to be held at Ballymena Showgrounds this Saturday, has been postponed.

Ballymena United said on social media on Tuesday evening: ‘After receiving confirmation of a positive Covid test result and following guidance from the PHA (Public Health Agency), we have requested and received approval from NIFL for our games at home to Coleraine (09/01/21) and away to Glenavon (12/01/21) to be postponed in line with the NIFL Covid-19 Case Policy.’

Three Irish Premiership games scheduled to take place over the next week have been postponed following Covid-19 cases after last Saturday’s match between Larne and Ballymena United.

The Public Health Agency said two cases had been found “within individuals” on the field in the game.

As a result, Saturday’s Ballymena v Coleraine game and the Carrick Rangers v Larne derbies have been postponed.

Next Tuesday’s match between Glenavon and Ballymena is also off.

The Northern Ireland Football League confirmed the postponement of the three games on Tuesday afternoon after news earlier emerged of the Covid cases following the Larne v Ballymena match at Inver Park on Saturday.

A letter from the Public Health Authority to both Larne and Ballymena United said it was notifying participants of the requirement to isolate for 10 days.

“We have identified that you have been in close contact with affected cases,” the PHA stated to match participants.

“In line with the national guidance we recommend that you must stay at home and self-isolate to and including 12 January. You must not go to work or other public areas.”

Ballymena won 1-0 in a game without spectators due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

It is the second time that the Ballymena-Coleraine and Carrick-Larne derbies have been postponed after their scheduled Boxing Day encounters were called off because of Covid-19 restrictions.

While Larne and Ballymena United are now out of action, Carrick Rangers will now play Coleraine on Saturday afternoon in a rescheduled Premiership fixture.

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