Belgian soccer club releases goalkeeper after lockdown party

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian soccer club KV Oostende released reserve goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa on Tuesday after he hosted an illegal lockdown party.

The club said police were called to the Cameroonian’s home on Saturday because of loud noise.

“It turned out to be a lockdown party in which 10 people violated all corona measures,” the club said, adding that police officers where verbally harassed.

Oostende, which sits mid-table in the Belgian league, said it has so far avoided any COVID-19 infection within the club.

“KVO as a club is above individuals and given the seriousness of these facts, we are therefore forced to initiate the dismissal procedure against Fabrice Ondoa,” the club said.

In a statement published later Tuesday, the Belgian league said it is aware that players from several professional teams have been caught breaking COVID-19 rules, including by taking part in or organizing illegal gatherings. The league did not identify the players and said such behavior is “beyond understanding and unacceptable.”

As part of national measures aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus, Belgian residents are not allowed to invite guests to their homes. The country of 11.5 million inhabitants has been hit hard by the pandemic with more than 18,000 confirmed deaths.

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