Former Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez has announced on social media that he has tested positive for coronavirus and will be self-isolated.
Coach Al Sadd said he had a positive result during a routine check before the start of the Qatar Stars League (QSL) and was asymptomatic.
Xavi, 40, wrote on Instagram, “Today, on my return to the official competition, I will not be able to accompany the team.
“A couple of days ago, following the @qsl protocol, I gave a positive result in the last Covid-19 test they performed on me. Fortunately, I’m in good shape, but, following the procedure, I’m isolated until I’ve conquered it.
“When the health authorities allow me, I will join my daily routine and work more willingly than ever before. I would like to thank all the authorities and in particular those responsible for @qsl, @qfa and @alsaddsc for providing us with all the means for early detection that prevents further contagion and ensures a normal development of competition.
Al Sadd reserve coach David Prats will replace Xavi during his absence.
Xavi refused the chance to coach Barca earlier this year and recently signed a one-year contract extension with the club where he won the Super Cup and the Qatar Cup in his first season.
The QSL resumed on Friday after it had been suspended since March due to a pandemic. Al-Sadd, third on the table, played Al-Khor on Saturday with the remaining five rounds.