Eleven professionals in quarantine: After the Corona outbreak, Mainz 05 has to challenge RB Leipzig with a rump squad on Sunday. The only trump card is secrecy.
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Bo Svensson pulled the corners of his mouth down for a moment, then put on his poker face and didn’t let his cards look at him. He had “no need” to reveal the names of his ten unknown quarantine professionals, said the coach of the battered FSV Mainz 05 – after all, this secrecy is the only trump card Svensson has against runner-up RB Leipzig after the corona chaos at the Rheinhessen still in hand.
After four corona cases, including three players, the situation at Mainz before their Bundesliga start on Sunday (3:30 p.m.) is extremely tense – because all eight non-vaccinated professionals in the squad were put in quarantine. But only the failure of striker Karim Onisiwo is known, who tested positive before the first round match in the DFB Cup at SV Elversberg last weekend.
“We have many disadvantages on Sunday,” said sports director Christian Heidel: “If we have an advantage, it is that Leipzig does not know exactly who is playing.” In any case, the new RB trainer Jesse Marsch is completely in the dark. “Our preparation was geared towards the normal team,” said the American: “We hope that we will get more information.”
The visibly pissed-off Svensson did not do him a favor on Friday, of course – and in his lousy mood there was also a large portion of incomprehension towards the German Football League (DFL) due to the fact that the game was not rescheduled. When asked whether this was not a distortion of competition, the Dane replied tightly: “Not according to the DFL. And they make the orders.”
The Mainz team could only have submitted an application for game cancellation if fewer than 16 players (nine of them licensed players) had been available. With 27 licensed players, the Mainz squad is big enough, Svensson will fill the squad with vaccinated or recovered players from the U23 and U19.
“Based on these rules, I cannot imagine that games will be canceled because of injuries and illness,” said Heidel, annoyed. But the 58-year-old also criticized the eight players who have not yet been vaccinated and have therefore been isolated as close contacts by the health authorities.
“I think that the players didn’t even realize that they didn’t have to get sick themselves and that such a fiasco could still arise,” said Heidel and hoped that those affected would get vaccinated after all: “It’s about that that the guys understand it’s the better solution. ” The damage for Sunday can no longer be repaired with it.