Newcastle United are putting plans in place to deal with any issues relating to the Ebola outbreak with several of their star players on international duty in Africa this week, reports BBC
Midfielder Cheick Tiote was with the Ivory Coast squad for their back-to-back African Cup of Nations qualifiers against DR Congo. The 28-year-old started both games as the Elephants won 2-1 in Kinshasa before surprisingly going down 4-3 in the return in Abidjan.
Meanwhile, 29-year-old striker Papiss Cisse made one start and one substitute appearance for Senegal as they drew 0-0 and then lost 1-0 to Tunisia.
While there have been no reported cases of the disease in Ivory Coast, there have been in neighbouring Liberia and Guinea. There has also been one reported case in Senegal, raising more concerns over Cisse.
Magpies manager Alan Pardew says the club has been monitoring the situation and while the chances of the players having come into contact with the disease appears to be minimal, no chances would be taken.
“[Tiote and Cisse] are essential to us and our doctor has looked into the problems that might arise,” said Pardew. “We have a strategy for when they return and making sure they and their families are taken care of.”
Newcastle will hope to have all their international stars fit and healthy as they welcome Leicester City to St. James’ Park and look to kick-start their disappointing start to the season.
Think you know your football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG’s tipster competition – £11,000 to be won monthly!