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25 Apr, 2020 18:35

French footballer placed in a COMA as agent reveals player could have caught COVID-19 on a SHOPPING TRIP

French footballer placed in a COMA as agent reveals player could have caught COVID-19 on a SHOPPING TRIP

Montpellier midfielder Junior Sambia has become the first top-level player in France to test positive for COVID-19 and is in a "stable" but "not improved" condition after being placed into an induced coma in hospital.

Sambia had been suffering from digestive problems, diarrhea and breathing difficulties when the 23-year-old, who has played 20 times for the Ligue 1 club this season, was originally taken to hospital at the start of the week.

Montpellier did not originally name Sambia, but have thanked fans for their support and confirmed his identity after the French prospect later contracted COVID-19 and was moved into intensive care.

"He must have contracted the virus while going shopping," Frederic Guerra told Le Parisien after his client was moved into intensive care.

“He really respected confinement. It’s hard. He did everything well.

“He had three days of severe diarrhea as if it were gastroenteritis. Then, on Tuesday morning, he went to the hospital. He had just received the Covid-19 test result – this was negative. He had to go out on Wednesday, but his condition then worsened in the lungs."

Medical staff responded by attempting to move Sambia to another facility before he tested positive for the deadly disease on Thursday night. “His situation was further complicated during transport,” claimed Guerra.

“He returned to the same hospital. He then changed hospital twice before being placed in an artificial coma. Now his condition is assessed as stable – it has not worsened and has not improved.”

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Supporters have been left desperately hoping that Sambia recovers. "We're all with you, Junior,” wrote one. “Fight. A Pailladin never lets go.”

Montpellier, who have been out of action since French football was suspended on March 13 but could start training in May ahead of a planned resumption of fixtures in June, wrote on social media: “Thank you for your support messages for him.”

Teammate Pedro Mendes and Tunisia midfielder Ellyes Skhiri were among those who wished Sambia a swift recovery.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel is aiming to buy around 50,000 test kits under plans to conclude the campaign. Their ambitions could depend on events in Germany, where the Bundesliga is aiming to resume on May 9 should government consent be granted.

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