(Reuters) - Hungarian club Honved have suspended their Italian coach Giuseppe Sannino as a precaution because of the new coronavirus outbreak in Italy.
The flu-like virus is believed to have originated in a market selling wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700, the vast majority in China.
Italy has reported more than 400 cases, centred on the industrial heartlands of Lombardy and Veneto, while Italians or people who recently visited the country have tested positive in Greece, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia and France since the weekend.
“The replacement of Giuseppe Sannino and his (assistant) coach Alessandro Recenti is necessary because they could have come in contact with people living in areas affected by the coronavirus,” the club said in a statement.
“Honved is committed to addressing the health crisis and limiting the spread of the epidemic. As a precaution, the management decided to appoint a temporary replacement, defending their fans, players and colleagues at the club.”
It said that Istvan Pisont would take charge of Saturday’s league match against Diosgyori VTK.
The 62-year-old Sannino, who was appointed in May, has coached more than a dozen clubs in Italy as well as Watford in England and Levadiakos in Greece.
Writing by Brian Homewood; additional reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Peter Rutherford