Pochettino tests positive as COVID hits Ligue 1


The 48-year-old Argentinean will "respect isolation and is subject to the appropriate health protocols", PSG announced via Twitter.

His assistants Jesus Perez and Miguel D'Agostino will take charge of the team for Sunday's (AEDT) trip to Angers.

Three PSG players had already tested positive for the virus in the last week: Brazilian Rafinha, German player Thilo Kehrer and France youth international Colin Dagba. 

Former Tottenham Hotspur coach Pochettino has overseen three PSG games so far, notably winning the Trophee des Champions in Lens on Thursday (AEDT) thanks to a 2-1 win over bitter rival Marseille.

Pochettino took over from Thomas Tuchel and signed a contract until 30 June, 2022 with an option for an additional year.

Tuchel was sacked on 24 December, reportedly for comments viewed as critical of the club's Qatari owner, despite having led the team to a maiden appearance in the UEFA Champions League final last season.

Pochettino also played for PSG from 2001 to 2003.

Meanwhile, relegation threatened Lorient's home game against fellow struggler Dijon was cancelled on Saturday (AEDT) after a virus outbreak in the Breton side.

The postponement of the game - originally scheduled for Monday (AEDT) – is the first in Ligue 1 since Marseille's meeting with Nice on 18 November (AEDT) was called off.

"After advice from the national COVID commission, it was decided to postpone the match due to the absence of more than 10 of 30 Lorient players after positive RT-PCR tests," the French Football Federation announced.

Under protocols agreed at the beginning of September, matches are postponed if a team does not have 20 players with negative tests available. 

Lorient also confirmed its training centre would close for a minimum of 10 days after positive tests from youth players and management.

There are fears the virus may have spread after the Lorient youngsters played a recent friendly against Nantes.   

Lorient sits 19th in Ligue 1, is winless in five games, and two points and one place behind Dijon.   

Strasbourg's match with Saint-Etienne, also scheduled for Monday (AEDT) at the same time as the Lorient v Dijon game, is also under threat of postponement.

Several players and members of the management team at Saint-Etienne have tested positive, the club announced.

"The PCR tests carried out Tuesday and Thursday revealed many positive cases for COVID-19 among the players and members of the management of the squad," a statement from the club read.

Saint-Etienne is currently in 16th place in the table, five points off the drop zone with Strasbourg a place and a point better off.