The chances of the English Premier League going on as scheduled is under serious threat following the high profile positive coronavirus cases that have been confirmed by two top teams, Arsenal and Chelsea.
In the light of these developments, the Premier League will hold an “emergency club meeting” on Friday morning regarding whether fixtures can be played in the wake of confirmed coronavirus cases.
Arsenal on their part said their London Colney training centre has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive COVID-19 result.
Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines.
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.”
Head of football Raul Sanllehi added: “Mikel and the full first-team squad, players and staff, will be fully supported, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows. Obviously Mikel’s full recovery is the priority now for us all.”
Mikel said: “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
A statement on Chelsea’s website read: “Chelsea men’s team player Callum Hudson-Odoi had a positive test result for Coronavirus returned this evening (Thursday).
“Despite testing positive for the virus, Callum is doing well and looking forward to returning to the training ground as soon as it is possible.
“We wish Callum a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to the club soon.”
The entire Blues first-team, coaches and support staff will now self-isolate, putting Saturday’s match with Aston Villa in serious doubt.
Many sporting events across Europe have already been postponed or played behind closed doors but there has been no ban in the UK just yet as the government steps up its response to the virus.