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Italian volleyball player leaves S. Korean league during break forced by coronavirus

All News 14:47 March 04, 2020

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- An Italian volleyball player has left the South Korean men's league, with on-court action suspended due to the continued surge in coronavirus cases here.

The Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Bluefangs of the men's V-League said Wednesday its opposite hitter Andrea Santangelo left the country earlier in the day. His departure comes two days after the Korean Volleyball Federation (KOVO) decided to suspend the V-League as the nation grapples with the spread of the virus.

In this file photo from Nov. 17, 2019, Andrea Santangelo of the Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Bluefangs (L) hits a spike against the Kepco Vixtorm in a men's V-League match at Suwon Gymnasium in Suwon, 45 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

The team said Santangelo hoped to return to Italy because of uncertainty surrounding the V-League, and the two sides parted on amicable terms.

Santangelo is the first foreign player in South Korean pro volleyball to pack up and leave in light of the coronavirus outbreak. The Korean Basketball League (KBL) saw three foreign players leave in a two-day span last week, leading to fears of a mass exodus of import players.

Santangelo appeared in 25 of the team's 32 games and ranked 17th in the league with 294 points.


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