In a devastating blow for English football and Arsenal, confirmed reports on Thursday evening have told that The Gunners’ manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Three Leicester City first-team players have self-isolated after displaying symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. There has been no formal release revealing who the three players are. But in a bid to help the situation along, the Premier League moved quickly to postpone Arsenal’s game against Brighton on Saturday as a standard precautionary measure.
The club have also closed their training ground and staff who had recent contact with Arteta, will now move into self-isolation. An emergency meeting will be held by the Premier League on Friday to discuss future fixtures. “This is really disappointing. I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed,” announced Arteta after testing positive.
BBC Sport reported that all 20 Premier League clubs may be looking at a unified strategy with one of the possible options being to postpone the rest of this weekend’s scheduled fixtures. Arsenal’s managing director, Vinai Venkatesham said: “The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is.
We are in active dialogue with all the relevant people to manage this situation appropriately, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows.”
Earlier in the week, Arsenal had their Premier League match with Manchester City postponed as a precautionary measure, and prompted some of the club’s players, who had come into contact with Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner, Evangelos Marinakis – who confirmed on Wednesday that he had contracted the virus – to go into self-isolation.
Elsewhere, Man City defender Benjamin Mendy is self-isolating as a precaution after a member of his family members were admitted to hospital displaying symptoms of the coronavirus.