FC Dallas Backs Out From “MLS is Back”; Club Members Tested COVID Positive
Upon their arrival at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando on 27th June, 10 players and 1 technical staff were diagnosed positive. Ever since then all the club members have been put in Quarantine. They were also prohibited from training further.
Condition Of Corona In The Tournament
Dallas already had 3 COVID positive cases before they entered Florida. However, whether or not these ‘infected’ players be allowed to tour and play with the team- was unclear. Don Garber, who is Commissioner of MLS, said that the decision of eliminating FC Dallas was difficult but right, for other clubs and players.
He said that since the players and staff have been tested positive, they will be following proper guidelines and stay in Quarantine. Their training and competing may pose a threat to other players/ clubs. He added that even though this decision was hard, the League will not compromise on their protocol and that this was best for the MLS tournament.
In Orlando, there are 557 soccer players, out of which 13 are confirmed to have the virus. And 10 players from these are from FC Dallas itself, rest 3 players are from other football clubs. Garber also said that the MLS tournament will continue its staging as usual with 25 teams on board. The tournament will start from 8th July to 11th August 2020.
MLS Commissioner further said that the league will discontinue if there are more Corona positive cases found among the clubs playing in the tournament. But until then, the event will continue as usual. The League officials will be paying strict and close attention to the players and other member’s health. The safety of all participants will be of utmost importance.
What do Dallas Officials say?
FC Dallas was set to give this tournament a kick start by going against Vancouver Whitecaps. However, with the detection of the virus in the members, the fixtures were changed. And Dallas club has made a wise decision of not playing in this tournament.
Team Coach, Lucchi Gonzalez, stated that all players and staff know their responsibility and will not compete this season. The club places the welfare of all members and staff on their priority list, therefore everyone has been put in isolation. He adds that the club is “disappointed”, although they will have to stick with the regulations and keep their league partners & traveling delegation safe.
FC Dallas Club has shown its support to the League’s decision and taken its name back from the tournament. President of FC Dallas, Dan Hunt, says that by this they are ensuring the safety of players/ members of their and other playing clubs.
And that they are ‘looking forward’ to the next season, once all members are cured and it is safe for them. They will be getting back in the competition after the club will get back with their health.
MLS’s Garber said that they will be delighted to welcome Dallas back once this tournament is over and they begin with the next soccer season. He shows his concern by adding that MLS will work with the club to get a replacement for them in the season games. MLS knows that they might have to reschedule or reorganize the matches based on variable factors like weather.
MLS Players Association has released a statement showing its regret on the dismissal of FC Dallas. They appreciated the club’s efforts put in training in the past few months, and that they were ready to take over the matches. However, their decision was a necessary and right thing to do.
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