FILE - In this April 9, 2018, file photo, Japan Football Association (JFA) President Kozo Tashima speaks during a press conference at its headquarters in Tokyo. The head of Japan soccer, who is also the vice-chairman of the Japan Olympic Committee, has tested positive for the coronavirus and apologized for possibly infecting others.(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

Japan soccer president Kozo Tashima tests positive for Coronavirus

Kozo Tashima, the president of the Japan Football Association and vice-chairman of the Japan Olympic Committee has tested positive for the coronavirus. According to a statement put out by Tashima and the Japan Football Association on Tuesday, “I have slight fever and pneumonia … but otherwise I’m doing fine.”

The vice-chairman received his diagnosis after traveling to Europe and the United States for exhibition games from Feb. 28 through March 8. Tashima felt the need to get tested after the Serbian soccer association president Slavisa Kokeza tested positive for COVID-19. According to Tashima, he sat near Kokeza during the Union of European Football Associations general meeting in Amsterdam.

“In Amsterdam and in Europe in early March, the level of nervousness against the novel coronavirus was not the same as now. Everyone was still doing hugs, handshakes and bises,” Tashima said in a statement.

In his statement, Tashima also apologizes to anyone he may have come into contact with.

US Women’s National Team Impact

During Tashima’s travels to the United States, the Japan women’s soccer team played in the SheBelieves Cup. The team traveled to Orlando, Florida, Harrison, New Jersey, and Frisco, Texas during their time in the United States.

Due to Tashima’s positive diagnosis, the United States Women’s National Team is on high alert. According to a statement put out by the USWNT, no team personnel came into any contact with Tashima, and no one on the team is expressing any symptoms.

According to the USWNT statement, the team is assessing the situation closely. The team is dispersed across the country and likely self-quarantined.

These revelations come amid the present coronavirus outbreaks across the world. As of March 12th, most major sporting leagues either canceled or suspended their games. According to the Center for Disease Control recommendation as of March 16, all events with 50 or more people should be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks.

About Steven Walker

Steven Walker is a beat writer for ESPN Gainesville and is currently studying Journalism & Sports Media at the University of Florida.

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