16.07.2020 17:39 h

Russian league says Sochi sidelined after virus tests

Russia's premier league said Thursday that Sochi will have to sit out the evening match with Tambov after nine people from the club tested positive for the coronavirus.

"Sochi will not be able to participate in the match against Tambov," after the results became known Thursday, the league said, without specifying how many of the nine were players.

It said the club had notified Russia's health watchdog about the situation and was "awaiting further orders" regarding possible quarantines.

Tambov, who are ranked near the bottom in the play-offs, were due to face Sochi later in the evening.

The situation follows a similar predicament in June for Rostov, who were due to play Sochi but were ordered to quarantine.

After Sochi refused to reschedule the match, Rostov avoided a forfeit by sending a junior team of inexperienced teenagers to participate instead.

The youngsters became instant heroes even after losing 10-1, while Sochi faced streams of online hatred.

"This is karma guys," one comment from user Andrei Nikitin said on sports.ru.

Russia has recorded the fourth-highest number of coronavirus infections in the world with 752,797 cases and nearly 12,000 deaths as of Thursday.