Arsenal news: Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash in major doubt | Football | Sport

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash left in doubt
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Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Brighton this Saturday (3pm) has been placed in serious doubt after the Gunners confirmed on Thursday night that manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus, with the entire first-team squad now set to go into self-isolation.

An official statement read: “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.”

The Premier League have confirmed they will hold an emergency meeting on Friday and said: “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.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash left in doubt (Image: GETTY)

Arteta told Arsenal’s official website on the matter: “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”

Arsenal’s match with Manchester City on Wednesday night had to be cancelled due to fears several members of the squad and the club’s staff may have contracted COVID-19, which has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

Some members of the Gunners’ squad were in close promixity to Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis after they played the former club in the Europa League.

Mr Marinakis was later confirmed to have contracted the illness, with City confirming their match with Arsenal was postponed due “as a precautionary measure on medical advice”.

And Arsenal said in their own statement: “The medical advice we have received puts the risk of them developing Covid-19 at extremely low. However, we are strictly following the Government guidelines which recommend that anyone coming into close contact with someone with the virus should self-isolate at home for 14 days from the last time they had contact. 

“As a result, the players are unavailable for tonight’s match against Manchester City and the Premier League has decided the game should be postponed.

“The players will remain at their homes until the 14-day period expires. Four Arsenal staff – who were sitting close to Mr Marinakis during the match – will also remain at home until the 14 days are complete.”

But it has now emerged that Arteta has also contracted COVID-19.

And the north London club added in a fresh statement on Thursday: “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.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash left in doubt

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash left in doubt (Image: GETTY)

Arsenal’s 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.”  

Meanwhile 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.” 

Arsenal are also scheduled to face Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday 22 March but the 14-day self-isolation period means that match too is unlikely to be played.

The Gunners are not scheduled to play again after that until April 4.

Just an hour before Arsenal’s statement on Arteta, the Premier League had said that that this weekend’s fixtures would go ahead.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at Downing Street on Saturday that sporting events would not be cancelled just yet.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash left in doubt

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash left in doubt (Image: GETTY)

“We are considering banning major public events like sporting fixtures,” he said.

“The scientific advice is this has little effect on the spread – but it does place a burden on other public services.

And a statement from the Premier League later read: “Following the latest update from Government issued this afternoon, all Premier League matches will go ahead as scheduled this weekend. 

“While the Prime Minister advised that all sporting events should take place as normal for now, he also indicated that Government is considering banning major public events, like sporting fixtures.

“We are therefore continuing to work closely with our clubs, Government, The FA, EFL and other relevant stakeholders to ensure appropriate contingency plans are in place as and when circumstances change. 

“The welfare of players, staff and supporters is of paramount importance and we will continue to follow Public Health England guidelines thoroughly. 

“We will keep everyone updated as appropriate.”

But that stance may well change in light of Arteta testing positive for the disease, which increases the chances the Premier League as a whole will follow the lead of Serie A, La Liga, the Eredivisie and the MLS in pushing back all fixtures for at least a few weeks.



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Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Brighton this Saturday (3pm) has been placed in serious doubt after the Gunners confirmed on Thursday night that manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus, with the entire first-team squad now set to go into self-isolation.

An official statement read: “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.”

The Premier League have confirmed they will hold an emergency meeting on Friday and said: “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.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash left in doubt (Image: GETTY)

Arteta told Arsenal’s official website on the matter: “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”

Arsenal’s match with Manchester City on Wednesday night had to be cancelled due to fears several members of the squad and the club’s staff may have contracted COVID-19, which has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

Some members of the Gunners’ squad were in close promixity to Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis after they played the former club in the Europa League.

Mr Marinakis was later confirmed to have contracted the illness, with City confirming their match with Arsenal was postponed due “as a precautionary measure on medical advice”.

And Arsenal said in their own statement: “The medical advice we have received puts the risk of them developing Covid-19 at extremely low. However, we are strictly following the Government guidelines which recommend that anyone coming into close contact with someone with the virus should self-isolate at home for 14 days from the last time they had contact. 

“As a result, the players are unavailable for tonight’s match against Manchester City and the Premier League has decided the game should be postponed.

“The players will remain at their homes until the 14-day period expires. Four Arsenal staff – who were sitting close to Mr Marinakis during the match – will also remain at home until the 14 days are complete.”

But it has now emerged that Arteta has also contracted COVID-19.

And the north London club added in a fresh statement on Thursday: “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.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash left in doubt

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash left in doubt (Image: GETTY)

Arsenal’s 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.”  

Meanwhile 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.” 

Arsenal are also scheduled to face Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday 22 March but the 14-day self-isolation period means that match too is unlikely to be played.

The Gunners are not scheduled to play again after that until April 4.

Just an hour before Arsenal’s statement on Arteta, the Premier League had said that that this weekend’s fixtures would go ahead.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at Downing Street on Saturday that sporting events would not be cancelled just yet.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash left in doubt

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus as Brighton clash left in doubt (Image: GETTY)

“We are considering banning major public events like sporting fixtures,” he said.

“The scientific advice is this has little effect on the spread – but it does place a burden on other public services.

And a statement from the Premier League later read: “Following the latest update from Government issued this afternoon, all Premier League matches will go ahead as scheduled this weekend. 

“While the Prime Minister advised that all sporting events should take place as normal for now, he also indicated that Government is considering banning major public events, like sporting fixtures.

“We are therefore continuing to work closely with our clubs, Government, The FA, EFL and other relevant stakeholders to ensure appropriate contingency plans are in place as and when circumstances change. 

“The welfare of players, staff and supporters is of paramount importance and we will continue to follow Public Health England guidelines thoroughly. 

“We will keep everyone updated as appropriate.”

But that stance may well change in light of Arteta testing positive for the disease, which increases the chances the Premier League as a whole will follow the lead of Serie A, La Liga, the Eredivisie and the MLS in pushing back all fixtures for at least a few weeks.



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