Marseille v Saint-Etienne: Four Covid-19 cases postpone Ligue 1 opener

Marseille players celebrate a goal in a friendly against Nimes
Marseille warmed up for the new campaign with a friendly against Nimes last week

The opening match of the 2020-21 French top-flight season has been postponed after four positive coronavirus tests at Marseille.

Marseille were due to host Saint-Etienne on Friday in the first of eight weekend fixtures in Ligue 1.

The 2019-20 campaign was curtailed in April because of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Paris St-Germain, 12 points clear at the top, awarded the title.

Marseille v Saint-Etienne will now be played on either 16 or 17 September.

The French league told clubs last week its protocol for dealing with coronavirus meant more than three positive cases at a club was likely to lead to a postponement.

Marseille's former Aston Villa defender Jordan Amavi tested positive last week, with another three players following in the latest round.

They cancelled a friendly against German side Stuttgart in the wake of Amavi's positive test.

Marseille, who are managed by former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, finished runners-up to PSG in last season's shortened campaign.

On Friday, France was added to a list of countries from which those arriving in the UK are required to quarantine for two weeks.

France's prime minister, Jean Castex, acknowledged infection numbers were going "the wrong way" in the country.

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