Austrian leaders Linz docked six points for breaking coronavirus rules


  • Football
  • Friday, 29 May 2020

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League - Round of 32 Second Leg - LASK Linz v AZ Alkmaar - Linzer Stadion, Linz, Austria - February 27, 2020 LASK Linz players pose for a team group photo before the match REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian league leaders LASK Linz have had six points deducted for breaking coronavirus rules regarding training sessions, the APA news agency and other Austrian media said on Thursday.

Linz were reported to the league's disciplinary tribunal for staging team practice sessions two weeks ago when they were only allowed to be training in small groups.

The case came to light after several rival clubs said they had received videos of the practice sessions.

The club apologised at the time and said they felt it was safe to hold team sessions as the entire squad had repeatedly tested negative for the virus.

Linz were handed a 12-point deduction but all teams' points tallies are halved at the end of the regular season when they are split into two groups of six, with the top six playing for the title and the remainder to avoid relegation.

As a result, Linz's deduction was reduced to six.

The punishment means Linz, who had 27 points from 22 games before the decision and were three clear of Salzburg, drop to second place, three points behind their rivals, one point ahead of Rapid Vienna and two in front of Wolfsberger.

Linz were also fined 75,000 euros ($82,950.00), APA said.

The league restarts on June 2 with 10 rounds of matches remaining.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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