By Stefan Djordjevic / firstname.lastname@example.org
Zenit Saint Petersburg has been struck with a wave of coronavirus cases recently, registering a total of 13 positives (eight players, four coaches, and one masseur) and have decided to suspend practices.
The club also asked EuroLeague and VTB League to postpone their upcoming games (a double-round week in EuroLeague – October 13, October 15), however, it remains to be seen if the request will be granted.
Zenit General Director Alexander Tserkovny explained that, while they want to play, the roster is down to just six players and are unable to do so unless they add more players from the youth squad, which he finds a risky move as well.
“We want to play, but it’s impossible with six of us. Of course, we could try to collect the required minimum of 8 players on the road, adding our youth to the still healthy basketball players, but I believe that we simply have no right to do so. Firstly, every day we receive new infections, and there is no guarantee that one of them will not get sick. This means that right on the spot, we may end up not collecting the required minimum. Secondly, if a positive test is detected, we will have to leave the sick person in Spain for two weeks,” he told Sport-Express and added.
“Both leagues have regulations that provide for such cases. We notified the Euroleague yesterday about the emergency in the team, as soon as we received the test results. We are waiting for a decision, the rules are the same for everyone.”
It should be noted that in case EuroLeague decides against postponing the games and Zenit doesn’t travel to Spain with at least eight players on the bench, according to the competition’s coronavirus protocols, they will lose the games 0-20.