Arsenal have closed their training ground after manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus.
The Spaniard told the club’s official website: “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
An official club statement explained: “Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines.
“We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution.
“We expect those who did not have close contact with Mikel to return to work in the coming days. In the meantime our Colney and Hale End training centres will undergo a deep clean and our other club sites are operating as normal.
Worrying news from Arsenal
“We will work with Public Health England on the next steps in regard to our facilities and staff, and with the Premier League, Football Association and relevant clubs around our forthcoming matches in the Premier League and Emirates FA Cup.
“It is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates. We will update supporters who have tickets for forthcoming games with more information as soon as possible.”
Should the Premier League be cancelled?
The news came just minutes after the Premier League released a statement confirming that the weekend’s fixtures WOULD go ahead.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had stated in a speech earlier on Thursday that although sporting events could be cancelled in light of coronavirus, there was no immediate need to do so.
However, news of Arteta’s positive test has forced the Premier League to react and they will chair an emergency meeting that could spell the end of the 2019/20 season.
Their response read: “In light of Arsenal’s announcement tonight confirming that their first-team coach Mikel Arteta has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League will convene an emergency club meeting tomorrow morning regarding future fixtures.
“The Premier League will make no further comment until after that meeting.”
- English football’s crisis plan for coronavirus
- Daniele Rugani tests positive for coronavirus
- Neymar applauds empty stands at PSG v Dortmund