Italian golfers quarantined in Oman over virus fears

34-year-old Gagli hails from Florence in Tuscany, which has also seen coronavirus cases. (AP pic)

MILAN: Italian golfers Edoardo Molinari and Lorenzo Gagli have been quarantined in Muscat and forced to pull out of the Oman Open starting Thursday over fears they may have the coronavirus.

Gagli suffered flu-like symptoms during the week and as Molinari, the older brother of former British Open winner Francesco, was his roommate both have been placed in isolation as a precautionary measure.

Gagli told Italian newspaper La Nazione that he had been told he would have to remain isolated until next Wednesday.

“It’s an inexplicable decision,” Gagli said.

“If there was a risk of contagion, then they would have to isolate dozens of golfers and cancel the tournament.”

Italy, which has reported 12 deaths and 400 confirmed cases in Europe’s worst outbreak of the virus, has attempted to lockdown the epicentre in the north to contain its spread.

Molinari, 39, comes from Turin in the north of Italy while 34-year-old Gagli hails from Florence in Tuscany, where there have also been cases.

“We are following the situation,” Marco Durante, head of the pro sector of the Italian Golf Federation, told Sky Sport Italia.

“Of course it is excessive prudence by the organisation for a feverish state 10 days ago.

“There is no indication of viral pathologies in progress. We hope the misunderstanding will be resolved soon.”

The golfers could also miss the Qatar Masters from March 5-8.

A Six Nations rugby match between Italy and Ireland in Dublin on March 7 was called off Wednesday, and the alpine skiing World Cup Finals – due to take place in Italy next month – will be held without any fans on the slopes.