French Ligue 2 soccer club based near Paris hit by UK COVID variant

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PARIS (Reuters) - Chambly Oise, a French Ligue 2 soccer team based in a town just north of Paris, said nine of their players had tested positive for the variant of COVID-19 first discovered in England, as fears grow in France over the spread of the new COVID variants.

The club said in a statement on Tuesday that they would carry out further tests on playing staff before the next scheduled match this weekend.

Earlier this week, a school in Eaubonne, another suburb north of Paris, had to temporarily close after the discovery of cases of the South African variant of COVID-19.

Among the coronavirus variants most concerning for scientists and public health experts are the so-called British, South African and Brazilian ones, which appear to spread more quickly than other forms of the disease.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, editing by Ed Osmond)