LONDON • West Ham manager David Moyes and players Issa Diop and Josh Cullen all tested positive for Covid-19 just before the English Premier League club’s 5-1 thrashing of third-tier outfit Hull City in the League Cup on Tuesday.
The Hammers’ medical team were informed of the test results while Moyes and his squad were at the London Stadium preparing for the third-round tie. French defender Diop and Ireland midfielder Cullen, who were in the squad, had to withdraw from the starting line-up.
“The manager and both players immediately left the stadium and returned home,” a West Ham statement said. “All three, who are asymptomatic, will now follow Public Health England and Premier League guidelines and protocols.”
Tuesday’s match went ahead as planned, with Hammers assistant manager Alan Irvine taking charge of the team.
French striker Sebastien Haller and Ukraine winger Andriy Yarmolenko both scored a double, while Scotland winger Robert Snodgrass was also on target, leading Irvine to praise the team’s mental strength.
He said: “There were no players discussing it or looking for excuses about what was going on. No players were thinking that the game couldn’t go on, it was all positive.
“It was vitally important that the players were prepared psychologically and ready to go out and perform. This was an opportunity for them to impress and they certainly did that.
“I am not worried, the mood after the game was one of excitement, they know they played well and did themselves a load of good going forward.”
The Hammers also insisted their coronavirus protocols remain stringent and confirmed that Moyes, Diop and Cullen will have to self-isolate for 10 days, meaning they will miss Sunday’s match at home to Wolves and the fourth round of the League Cup next week.
According to The Athletic, Arsenal have returned no positive tests after facing the Hammers in the top flight last Saturday and will continue their fixtures as planned.
The three positive tests came just hours after Tottenham’s League Cup tie at Leyton Orient was postponed to an as-yet-unconfirmed date after several members of the fourth-tier side tested positive for the virus.
- OTHER MANAGERS WHO CAME DOWN WITH COVID-19
Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)
Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid)
Sinisa Mihajlovic (Bologna)
Vanderlei Luxemburgo (Palmeiras)
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS