RB Leipzig become FOURTH German club to be hit by Covid amid spiralling cases

RB Leipzig will be without manager Jesse Marsch and first-choice goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi for Wednesday’s Champions League game at Club Brugge after they contracted the coronavirus.

Marsch was in isolation after testing positive, adding he was fully vaccinated.

Assistant coach Marco Kurth was also out because he had contact with a person in his family who tested positive.

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Another assistant coach, Achim Beierlorzer, will oversee the team for the Brugge game, where Leipzig is eyeing a win to finish third in the group and move into the Europa League knockout playoffs.

Leipzig said all first-team players or staff members are either fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from the virus.

RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch (right) and goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi (left) have both tested positive for Covid and will miss Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Club Brugge

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Marsch has had a difficult start at Leipzig since joining in the offseason. 

The team is seventh in the Bundesliga and cannot advance to the Champions League knockout stages after earning just one point from its first four games in a group also containing Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

The positive tests were reported a day after Leipzig said attacking midfielder Dani Olmo was unlikely to play again this year with a thigh muscle strain.

All four of the German teams in the Champions League have been affected by virus cases ahead of this week’s games. 

Borussia Dortmund is missing forward Thorgan Hazard after a positive test, and Wolfsburg is without goalkeeper Koen Casteels. 

Leipzig have become the fourth German club in the Champions League to have been hit by coronavirus this week as cases in Germany continue to spiral

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich are experiencing their own mini Covid-crisis and have now reportedly resorted to cutting the salaries of their players who are not vaccinated. 

Bayern travelled to play Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday and will be without seven players who have either tested positive or been in contact with positive cases. 

Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Jamal Musiala, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Michael Cuisance are all in quarantine after coming into close contact with someone who has the virus and have all been told by the German club that they will not be paid for every game or day of training they miss when self-isolating after they refused to get the vaccine.  

Bayern Munich, who has also been hit by Covid, have docked the wages of their five unvaccinated players, which includes Serge Gnabry (left), Joshua Kimmich (middle) and Jamal Musiala (right)

Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting (left) and Michael Cuisance (right) are unvaccinated against Covid

According to German news outlet Bild, Bayern told the players last week that they would be withholding pay if anyone missed work due to being unvaccinated.

The report comes days after Bayern suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of local rivals Augsburg on Friday, which saw Kimmich, the midfield star for both Bayern and Germany, miss the encounter after he was forced to quarantine.

Gnabry started that match, while Musiala and Choupo-Moting came on as substitutes, while Cuisance was an unused substitute. Those four players were all then placed into quarantine following a new exposure to Covid, hours after the reports about pay cuts emerged in Germany.

Bayern’s central defender Niklas Sule returned a positive test result for coronavirus last week

Another Bayern defender, Josip Stanisic, also tested positive for Covid in the last week

Their Bayern team-mates Niklas Sule and Josip Stanisic had tested positive for Covid last week, with the club confirming that those two players were vaccinated.

Tensions are high in Germany with the country in the grip of a fourth wave of cases and many hospitals full. 

It has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe, with 68 per cent of people fully vaccinated. 

‘By the end of this winter everyone in Germany will either be vaccinated, recovered or dead,’ health minister Jens Spahn said on Monday. 

German health minister Jens Spahn warned on Monday that ‘by the end of this winter everyone in Germany will either be vaccinated, recovered or dead’ amid the country’s fourth wave

The news of withheld wages comes less than a week after the five Bayern players were told that they have been banned from staying in the same hotel as their team-mates ahead of a match and must travel to games separately too due to tightening restrictions in the country, which is experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases.  

Bavaria’s seven-day rate of infections per 100,000 people was at 640 on Monday, almost two times worse than the national rate of 386.5 – which is the highest it’s ever been for Germany so far in the pandemic. 

Last week, Minister President of Bavaria Markus Soder said there was no choice but to implement a ‘a kind of lockdown for the unvaccinated’ due to the increasing pressure on hospitals and medical staff.

One of these measures includes unvaccinated people in Bavaria being banned from visiting restaurants and hotels.

Bayern told the players that they will not be paid for every game or day of training they miss when self-isolating after they refused to get the vaccine when it was offered

The only state doing worse than Bavaria is Saxony, which has excluded fans altogether in a bid to control the outbreak.

No games have been called off in the Bundesliga yet this season, but there have been cancellations in the second and third divisions. 

St. Pauli’s game against Sandhausen, Zwickau’s match against Magdeburg, and Wurzburger Kickers’ game versus Eintracht Braunschweig were all called off because of outbreaks. 

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