News that our Scottish football’s star player tested positive for Covid a day after travelling to meet the France Under-23 squad, is an indication of what we are in for. Odsonne Edouard and pretty much all other professional footballers are from a demographic that is immune to the worst excesses of the disease, but it will continue to infect players for the remainder of the season. Celtic, and all clubs, will be required to utilise their squads like never before.
Beyond our worry for Odsonne’s health, the next concern is for the rest of the squad. Odsonne played for Celtic on Sunday and tested positive in France on Tuesday. The club will have a nervous few days ahead while the incubation period of a possible transmission on Sunday expires.
It is more likely the player contracted the disease while travelling. If so, the short-term consequences for Celtic are less, but this indicates the risks we can expect when players mix with the public on commercial flights. When Celtic or any national team travels, they do so on private charters, within their own ‘bubble’. But players who live abroad need to use public transport to get back home.
From Azerbaijan to Iceland, ‘European’ players will cross-fertilise with fellow travellers and each other. When they return to their clubs at the end of next week, most having attended three fixtures, they will be walking petri dishes. Some will have picked up colds and flus, then isolate, due to these symptoms, but Odsonne will not be the last positive test.
These international fixtures are like a big mumps party, seeding populations with a deadly cargo through largely asymptomatic agents. Not your best work, Uefa.
A reminder to us all, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, keep your distance, wear a mask. It does not matter what age you are, you don’t want this disease.