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By ESPN Staff

Hannover forced to play cup tie despite virus

Hannover have been ordered to play their DFB-Pokal second-round tie with Schalke on Tuesday night despite losing much of their squad to a virus.

A contagious stomach bug has spread through the Hanover region over the last few days and seven of the club's players have been struck down.

With six further players injured and Altin Lala suspended, coach Dieter Hecking has only 14 eligible players at his disposal.

However, the German Football Association (DFB) have turned down Hannover's request to postpone the game with Schalke, as, according to DFB rules, a game may only be postponed if a squad is reduced to 13 players due to illness.

Injured and suspended players do not even come into consideration.

Hannover, therefore, will have to contest the match in Gelsenkirchen with just three substitutes, two of whom will be goalkeepers.

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