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Healthcare

Soccer-CSKA Sofia resume training despite gatherings ban - report

SOFIA, April 8 (Reuters) - Bulgaria’s most successful club CSKA Sofia has resumed team training, violating the government’s ban on outdoor gatherings that is in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus, local media reported.

A video published on several Bulgarian websites showed Serbian head coach Milos Kruscic, two of his assistants and at least six foreign players training at the club base in Pancharevo on Tuesday.

Bulgaria, which declared a state of emergency until May 13, has imposed a ban on groups of more than two adults congregating together while the Bulgarian Football Union’s (BFU) medical commission prohibited all team training activities on March 17.

“If any (football clubs) train, then the regional health inspectorates should punish them,” Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told reporters when asked to comment CSKA’s violation. “They should be fined like all other people in Bulgaria.”

The 31-times Bulgarian champions CSKA, who reached three European semi-finals between 1967 and 1989, have so far remained silent.

Bulgarian authorities have already launched an investigation over a possible outdoor gatherings’ violation following quotes from a Lokomotiv Plovdiv player that his club had resumed training last week.

Bulgarian soccer has been suspended for almost a month and the BFU has said the ban will remain in place for the top divisions at least until May 13.

As of Wednesday, the Balkan country had 581 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus and 23 deaths.

Like most other European nations, it has shut schools, restaurants and other public venues and imposed a ban on non-essential travel. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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