Eight members of Dublin University Football Club (DUFC) Men’s Division One side, as well as a staff member, have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Tom Molloy, director of public affairs and communications, told The University Times that the players and staff members “appear to have contracted it, when we were in level three last week”.
At that point elite sports sides – such as DUFC’s top team – could train, but level-five restrictions have since put an end to that.
Molloy also said that the players were not “doing anything wrong”, and “almost certainly” caught it while they were gathered as a team, adding that all training had now stopped.
The country recently went into level-five restrictions after daily cases surged to record high levels.
On October 15th, Irish Rugby announced that teams in the Energia Community Series – which DUFC were competing in – were no longer exempt from loosened coronavirus rules on training, and that teams would have to, instead, train in 15-man pods, with all fixtures cancelled indefinitely.
DUFC were not scheduled to play again until October 31st in a clash against Clontarf Rugby Club in College Park.
DUFC had gotten off to a strong start through their first five matches, with five wins from five. They were atop of their table in the Energia Community Series with three wins and no losses.
All other Trinity sport teams that had been granted government exemptions to continue with fixtures during level-three restrictions were also called off. This came after announcements from rugby, hockey, basketball and volleyball governing bodies two weeks ago.
In their last game before matches were postponed, DUFC beat Terenure College RFC 36-31 in a thrilling comeback, marking their third win of the Energia Community Series.