Football: Holtmann's Azkals debut delayed after testing positive for COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2022 11:31 AM | Updated as of Mar 21 2022 11:52 AM

Bochum's Gerrit Holtmann (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring for a 4-1 lead during the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Bochum and FC Bayern Munich in Bochum, Germany, 12 February 2022. Ronald Wittek, EPA-EFE
Bochum's Gerrit Holtmann (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring for a 4-1 lead during the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Bochum and FC Bayern Munich in Bochum, Germany, 12 February 2022. Ronald Wittek, EPA-EFE

MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino-German striker Gerrit Holtmann's highly-anticipated debut for the Philippine Azkals is delayed once again.

This, as Holtmann was one of three players at VfL Bochum 1848 to test positive for COVID-19.

On Instagram stories, Holtmann expressed his dismay at the development.

"Unfortunately, I have to postpone my Philippine national team debut," he said.

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Holtmann was one of 25 players called up by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) to the FAS Tri-Nations Series that will be held in Singapore on March 23-29.

The Azkals will play Malaysia on March 23 and Singapore on March 29 at the National Stadium.

According to VfL Bochum, also testing positive for COVID-19 were Vasilis Lampropoulos and Tom Weilandt. The three players have been in isolation since returning the positive results.

"The players are doing well given the circumstances and are expected to return to team training towards the end of the week if they are symptom-free," the club said. " We wish everyone a continued mild course and a speedy recovery!"

Holtmann, 26, has a Filipino mother, making him eligible to play for the Philippines. He was originally called up for the joint FIFA World Cup/AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in June 2021, but could not complete the necessary paperwork in time to join the team.