March 13, 2020

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Arsenal Manager Arteta and Chelsea Star Odoi Tests Positive For Corona Virus, EPL To Be Suspended.

The English Premier League will hold an “emergency club meeting” today, Friday 13th, regarding future fixtures in the wake of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta being diagnosed with coronavirus.

Arsenal Club announced yesterday that manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the coronavirus and the following is the club’s statement:

“Our London Colney training centre has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive COVID-19 result this evening.

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.

Mikel Arteta

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.”

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.

We are now working to trace any other people who have had recent close contact with Mikel.  We will let them know what has happened and they should follow the NHS guidance which is likely to recommend self-isolation.”

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.”

Arsenal played against Westham last Saturday at the Emirates and the rest of the team and staff will self-isolate. Weekend fixture to Brighton has been suspended.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Elswhere, Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi has also tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first premier league player to test positive; rest of first-team squad and coaching staff now in self-isolation.

Chelsea were at home last Sunday when they thrashed Everton 4-0 in a fully packed Stamford Bridge’s stadium in London.