The staging of the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Manila leg suffered a major blow as eight members of the Thailand women’s team tested positive for coronavirus heading into their first match against Canada on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.,In a report by Thai news outlets Bangkok Post and The Nation, Somporn Chaibangayan, president of the Thailand Volleyball Association, admitted that they are now down to seven players after their team was hit by the deadly pulmonary disease shortly after arriving in Manila.,Somporn said Piyanut Pannoy, Suppatra Pairoj, Watchareeya Nuanjam and Sutadta Chuewulim tested positive before the match while Sasiporn Janthawisut, Natthanicha Jaisen, Hattaya Bamrungsuk and Tichakorn Boonlert were found to have been infected after posting a straight-set win over the Canadians.,The TVA chief fears that more players could also be infected so they asked the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) to allow them to bring in additional players to reinforce their depleted roster in one of the most prestigious volleyball tournaments in the world.,Among those who will serve as reinforcements are Wipawee Srithong, Jarasporn Bundasak, Kannika Thipachot and Tichaya Boonlert, who played for F2 Logistics during the country’s hosting of the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship in 2016.,In a statement, the FIVB stressed that they granted the request and warned the rest of the field to observe all health and safety protocols regardless of their vaccination status.,“Due to exceptional medical circumstances related to Covid-19 which have prevented eight members of the Thailand women’s national volleyball team from being able to participate in Week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League in the Philippines, the FIVB and Volleyball World have allowed the team to register extra players as part of a special replacement procedure,” the federation said.,“In addition, all teams participating in the VNL 2022 have been informed that the FIVB will allow for exceptional medical replacements related to Covid-19.”,Prior to seeing action in the VNL, the Thais collided with Aby Maraño, Alyssa Valdez and the rest of the Philippine national team in a friendly match over the weekend at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Thais won in three sets.,Thailand, the reigning Southeast Asian Games champion, dropped its match to Poland, 25-22, 29-2716-25, 16-25, 13-15, on Thursday before facing Japan on Saturday and Olympic gold medalist United States on Sunday.,Meanwhile, the Philippine National Volleyball Federation has yet to issue an official statement, but already scrapped the scheduled exhibition match between the country’s national men’s team and Japan on Thursday.,No reason was given, but the federation will refund the tickets through Ticketnet.,Daily Tribune tried, but the PNVF leadership couldn’t be reached for comment.
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