Arteta tests positive for Covid-19, Brighton-Arsenal game called off
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the coronavirus, the English Premier League club said on Friday morning (March 13, Singapore time), with the first-team squad set to self-isolate as a result.
The club’s Hale End training centre has been temporarily closed and the EPL announced it would hold an emergency club meeting on Friday.
Arsenal are scheduled to play Brighton and Hove Albion in the EPL on Saturday, a game which has been postponed.
“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 said in a statement.
The Arsenal announcement came after several Leicester City players also self-isolated on Thursday, while Spanish football club Real Madrid said that their team were in quarantine after one of the club’s basketball players tested positive.
Players and staff of Italian champions Juventus are also in quarantine after defender Daniele Rugani tested positive on Wednesday.
Arsenal said they expected those who did not have close contact with their Spanish manager to return to work in the coming days and that their training centres would undergo a deep clean.
“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,” said the club’s head football Raul Sanllehi.
“It is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates.”
Arteta, 37, who joined Arsenal in December after working as assistant coach to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, said he had felt ill prior to taking the test.
“This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed,” he said.
Arsenal’s EPL game at Manchester City scheduled for Wednesday was postponed after the owner of Greek club Olympiakos, whom the Gunners played in the Europa League, had contracted the virus.
Arsenal said a number of their players had met Evangelos Marinakis after the game on Feb 27. – REUTERS