Bundesliga side Cologne are continuing undaunted ahead of the proposed return of German football despite three people testing positive for coronavirus at the club.

The team said on Friday that there had been three positive tests for the coronavirus, but didn’t specify any names or indicate if any of the failed tests came from the playing staff. The players, all of whom have been tested for the virus, are continuing to train in small groups.

Cologne said on Saturday that they are following the directives of medical experts, and say that all possible safety measures are being followed to mitigate risk.

The experts evaluate it as such that, due to the hygiene and infection prevention measures in group training, we can continue to train with those who tested negatively as we had been,” team doctor Paul Klein said in a statement to the club’s website.

He continued, explaining that none of the positive tests were described as “category one” – meaning that the failed test was linked to sharing accommodation with an infected person, or having similar levels of close contact with a known carrier.

However, Cologne’s announcement was criticized by Karl Lauterbach of the Social Democratic Party, a former health economics expert based at Cologne University and member of the party who are the junior partner in Angela Merkel’s government coalition. 

I am surprised that players allow this to be done to them. Football should be a role model, not ‘bread and circuses’,” he wrote online, also suggesting that two players and one staffer had tested positive for coronavirus. 

The failed tests come after Bundesliga clubs began testing players on Thursday ahead of a proposed return to full training and – eventually – games later this month.

Most teams have not made their results public, but one side, Werder Bremen, announced a clean bill of health and said that they would institute a second round of testing on Sunday.