By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- Members of the South Korean men's national football team recently infected with the novel coronavirus in Austria will be flown back home this week on a chartered flight, the sport's national federation announced Sunday.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) said the Asiana Airlines flight will head to Vienna at noon Tuesday and arrive back with 15 members of the team at 6:05 a.m. Thursday.
The group includes four players -- Kim Moon-hwan and Lee Dong-jun of Busan IPark, Na Sang-ho of Seongnam FC and Jo Hyeon-woo of Ulsan Hyundai FC -- and three staffers who tested positive for COVID-19 while in Austria for friendly matches against Mexico and Qatar earlier this month. Eight other staff members who stayed back in Austria to look after them and who came in close contact with the infected will also board the flight.
Those eight have tested negative, and they will wear protective suits, masks and gloves on the plane.
A fifth player who has been infected, Hwang In-beom of the Russian club FC Rubin Kazan, may fly back to Russia, the KFA added. He will undergo another test Monday before his destination is determined.
The KFA also said a team of medical workers with experience in treating COVID-19 patients will join the trip to tend to patients.
Of the eight infected individuals, five have mild symptoms that can be controlled with medication, according to the KFA.
Other, non-infected players and staffers have all returned to South Korea or have rejoined their clubs in Europe.