Germany qualifier on despite Hofmann testing positive for Covid-19

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Moenchengladbach midfielder Jonas Hofmann (R) has tested positive for Covid-19, the German FA confirmed Thursday

Germany's opening 2022 World Cup qualifier against Iceland on Thursday will go ahead despite German midfielder Jonas Hofmann testing positive for Covid-19, the association has confirmed.

"The match will be held, without any doubt," Jens Grittner, a spokesman for the German Football Association (DFB), told AFP subsidiary SID after talks with local health authorities.

On Thursday afternoon, the German FA confirmed media reports that Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder Jonas Hofmann is the player concerned.

"I'm fine so far," Hofmann said, adding that he was not currently showing any symptoms.

Both Hofmann and RB Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg, who was his closest contact, have been put into quarantine.

On Instagram, the pair were pictured on Wednesday wearing FFP2 masks while playing backgammon.

Halstenberg is therefore also ruled out of the qualifier, which kicks off at 1945GMT in Duisburg.

All other players, coaches and support staff tested negative again on Thursday, the German FA added.

Both Hofmann and Halstenberg will also miss Germany's forthcoming World Cup qualifiers away to Romania on Sunday and against North Macedonia in Duisburg next Wednesday.

Before flying to Bucharest on Friday, the German squad, coaches and travelling staff will be tested again "in the morning and at noon," the DFB said in a statement.

This is the second time an international match involving Germany has been affected by Covid-19 in just over four months.

Members of the Ukraine team tested positive for the coronavirus hours before Germany's 3-1 win in the Nations League last November.

The match went ahead as planned, but additional members of the Ukraine squad, who played, also later tested positive.

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