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Hertha Berlin’s new coach Magath tests positive for COVID-19

March 17, 2022 GMT
New head coach of German Bundesliga club Hertha BSC Berlin, Felix Magath, arrives for the first training in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (Andreas Gora/dpa via AP)
New head coach of German Bundesliga club Hertha BSC Berlin, Felix Magath, arrives for the first training in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (Andreas Gora/dpa via AP)
New head coach of German Bundesliga club Hertha BSC Berlin, Felix Magath, arrives for the first training in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (Andreas Gora/dpa via AP)
New head coach of German Bundesliga club Hertha BSC Berlin, Felix Magath, arrives for the first training in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (Andreas Gora/dpa via AP)
New head coach of German Bundesliga club Hertha BSC Berlin, Felix Magath, arrives for the first training in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (Andreas Gora/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Hertha Berlin’s new coach Felix Magath has tested positive for the coronavirus before his first game in charge.

Hertha said Thursday that the 68-year-old Magath, who was only appointed by the relegation-threatened club on Sunday, tested positive for COVID-19 and is “therefore initially not available for coaching or game operations.”

Hertha said on Twitter: “He is doing well so far, he is almost symptom-free. Get well soon!”

Magath will miss Hertha’s home game against Hoffenheim on Saturday, when assistant coach Mark Fotheringham will take charge of the team in his place. It would have been Magath’s first Bundesliga game as coach since October 2012, when he oversaw Wolfsburg’s game against Freiburg.

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Hertha, which hasn’t won a competitive game this year, fired Tayfun Korkut as coach on Sunday, several hours before announcing Magath as his replacement.

Last weekend’s 2-0 loss at Borussia Mönchengladbach was Hertha’s fifth consecutive defeat and it stretched its winless run in the league to nine games. It also left Hertha second to last in the division, in a direct relegation spot, with eight rounds remaining.

Germany registered a r ecord number of coronavirus infections on Thursday.

Bochum and Borussia Mönchengladbach will also have to do without their coaches when they play on Friday.

Bochum said Thursday that Thomas Reis tested positive for the virus, while Gladbach coach Adi Hütter is still not back after testing positive the week before.

It will the first time in the Bundesliga that both teams will be without their coaches. Bochum’s assistant coach Markus Gellhaus will fill in for Reis.

“You have to be prepared for almost anything these days,” Gellhaus said.

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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP