Paris (AFP)

The match between Villeurbanne and Red Star Belgrade counting for the 4th day of the Euroleague of basketball and scheduled for Thursday at 8:45 p.m. at the Astroballe has been canceled due to cases of Covid-19 within the workforce of the Asvel, the organizers announced.

“Several Asvel players have tested positive for Covid-19, leaving the team without the minimum of eight players on the fit-to-play list,” Euroleague Basketball said in a statement.

Matchday 3's match against Greeks Panathinaikos on Tuesday evening had already been canceled two hours before kick-off for the same reason.

"We are sincerely sad that the match between Asvel and Etoile Rouge has been called off for health reasons. Etoile Rouge was prepared to travel and play the game, but the health of the players, the coach, the staff, management and all employees is the most important at the moment, "tweeted the Serbian club.

On their return from Milan last Thursday, the Asvel players and all the staff were tested, as provided for in the Euroleague health protocol.

The various series of tests carried out over the following days revealed a total of five players and three members of the management positive for Covid-19.

In addition, two players showed "feverish symptoms" on Tuesday, making it impossible to hold the meeting against Panathinaikos.

Tony Parker's club had already had to do without Guerschon Yabusele for four matches at the start of the season, because the player had tested positive for Covid-19.

-Reverse of the Euroleague -

Initially, the health regulations of the Euroleague provided for a game lost by forfeit (20-0) for a team that could not field eight players.

But Wednesday evening, Euroleague Basketball returned to this point, wishing to modify the article in question to allow a postponement and a rescheduling of these matches and not a cancellation and a lost match.

If the proposal is adopted, it will be retroactive and will allow the rescheduling of the six Euroleague (4) and Eurocoup (2) matches which could not take place for this reason.

Zenith Saint Petersburg, who found themselves in the same situation as Asvel, learned on Wednesday that their two matches in Matchday 3 and 4 were lost 20-0, respectively to Spanish clubs Vitoria and Valencia .

A decision that will lapse if the new regulation is adopted.

"The club is now awaiting the decision of the health committee of the National Basketball League, which will meet this Wednesday evening, to decide on the holding, or not, of the meeting of Elite, scheduled for Monday evening at the 'Astroballe between Asvel and Gravelines,' Villeurbanne said in a statement.

The LNB plans to postpone a match in the French championship if a team cannot field enough players.

© 2020 AFP