PASCHING: League leaders LASK Linz yesterday became the first Austrian top-flight team to re-start training amid the Covid-19 outbreak, with the players divided into small groups and observing social distancing guidelines.
Austria has become one of the first countries in Europe to loosen a lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and the government gave the go-ahead last Wednesday for professional teams to start training again.
Under government rules, the Linz players were divided into groups of six for practice and stayed two metres apart. Other Austrian teams were due to start training today.
“We’re all happy to be on the pitch again,” said LASK captain Gernot Trauner.
The Austrian Bundesliga is hoping to resume the season in mid-May though all games would have to be without fans for the foreseeable future.
“It’s a completely new situation, we are starting from scratch,” said LASK coach Valerien Ismael.
“We know what we have to do, we must respect the two metres distance and that is a challenge – but there is a good feeling and the important thing for the lads is to be back on the pitch after five-and-a-half weeks.”