To all our readers who are football fans, also known as soccer in some parts of the world, we’ve got some bad news for you.
In an official club statement from Arsenal, the team states that head coach Mikel Arteta has been tested positive for COVID-19.
Thankfully, it seems that it was caught at an early state.
“This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly,”Arteta said in the club statement.
“I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
Arsenal was due to play at Brighton in the Premier League on March 15. But after their announcement, the club stated that it’s “clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates.”
As a result, the Premier League announced that they’ll be holding an emergency meeting on March 13 to discuss future fixtures. As of press time, the results of the meeting have yet to be released.
Just last Wednesday, Arsenal’s game at Manchester City was called off after Nottingham Forest and Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis was tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
How are the team and staff doing?
Well, thankfully, Arsenal personnel and players are all following Government health guidelines by self-quarantining themselves.
“We expect those who did not have close contact with Mikel to return to work in the coming days,” the club statement reads. “In the meantime our Colney and Hale End training centres will undergo a deep clean and our other club sites are operating as normal.”
Arsenal is also currently tracing people who have had recent close contact with Arteta to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading unknowingly.
“The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is. Our thoughts are with Mikel who is disappointed but in good spirits,” Managing director Vinai Venkatesham said in the club statement.
“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.”
COVID-19 is affecting the English Premier League and football in general.
Because of the COVID-19, many fixtures have been postponed indefinitely, and it’s not just Arsenal’s. Several of Arsenal and Chelsea‘s matches in March have been postponed.
In fact, Chelsea’s Premier League match against Bayern Munich on March 18 will be played behind closed doors.
Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi has also been tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result, all coaching staff and senior squad members are under self-isolation.
Meanwhile, the Premier League and Euro 2020 could possibly stand to lose a lot of revenue and sponsorships with the lack of teams available. The numbers have not been disclosed.
On the other hand, Liverpool, who’re on course to hoist the coveted English Premier League trophy after 30 years, are scheduled to face Arsenal on May 2. However, with the widespread pandemic there could be a possibility of the match being postponed.
Worst, the Liverpool team could possibly be lifting the coveted trophy in an empty stadium.
COVID-19 is now labeled as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and has already forced many governing bodies to postpone or cancel matches. But it’s not just football that it’s been going after. Even a conference about coronaviruses has been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus.
Cover image sourced from Sky News.