By The Sun
ARSENAL manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus – putting the rest of the Premier League season in doubt.
The whole first-team squad will now be placed in self-isolation. The Premier League announced it will now hold an “emergency club meeting” on Friday to discuss future fixtures.
Arteta, 37, said: “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly.
“I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
The club’s London Colney training centre has been closed. A club statement said: “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.” Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham said: “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. 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.”
The statement added it was “clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates”.
Arsenal’s match against Brighton on Saturday has been postponed.
The news came just 49 minutes after the Premier League announced that games this weekend WOULD go ahead as normal.
Meanwhile Manchester City Benjamin Mendy is self-isolating as a precaution after a member of his family was admitted to hospital displaying symptoms of coronavirus.
Three Leicester City first-team players have also self-isolated after showing symptoms of coronavirus.
Chelsea also cancelled training after someone close to the squad showed symptoms of the killer bug.
Both Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers played their Europa League away fixtures on Thursday night behind closed doors.
On Wednesday, Arsenal’s clash against Manchester City was postponed due to the virus outbreak.
It came after Nottingham Forest and Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who
announced on Tuesday that he had contracted the virus, met Arsenal staff and players during the February 27 Europa League tie at the Emirates Stadium.
Elsewhere UEFA will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to decide whether the tournament should be cancelled or postponed, and whether this season’s Champions League and Europa League can continue.
England’s friendly against Denmark on March 31 at Wembley and Italy on March 27 look certain to be cancelled, with both countries currently on lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government was “considering the question of banning major public events such as sporting fixtures”.
LaLiga, Serie A, Eredivisie, the Primeira Liga, MLS and the Turkish Super Lig have all now been suspended – as well as several other major sports leagues in Europe and the US.