Fans who attended illegal soccer game in France urged to get tested


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Officials have appealed for spectators and participants of Sunday's illegal soccer match in Strasbourg to be tested for the coronavirus.

The game, which pitted the city's districts of Neuhof and Hautepierre against one another, drew 400 people to a local stadium, according to The Guardian's Kim Willsher. The French government is currently limiting public gatherings to a maximum of 10 people.

People who went to the game have been invited to a testing center at the European parliament building without an appointment, and they will be screened anonymously.

"We must absolutely avoid another virus cluster in Strasbourg and protect those who took part as well as their families," said the local prefect, Josiane Chevalier.

Chevalier insisted the tests aren't "a trap" to catch those who visited the venue but described staging the game as "incomprehensible, irresponsible, and very serious."

Eastern France has been one of the nation's worst-affected areas. The Grand East region's hospitals were overwhelmed at the height of the health emergency, leading some patients to be transported to different parts of France and other countries such as Germany for coronavirus treatment.

French soccer was suspended on March 13 when the country's confirmed coronavirus cases exceeded 3,500. Ligue 1 and 2 were eventually canceled on April 28.

To date, France has almost 183,000 COVID-19 cases and over 28,500 related deaths.

"It's important that the participants understand that their behavior in the next few days can save lives. The test will not be held against them," added Adeline Jenner, a regional officer.

Around 300 spectators visited another illegal match in Grigny in the southern suburbs of Paris on Tuesday evening. Police were unable to break up the game, Willsher reports.

Fans who attended illegal soccer game in France urged to get tested
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