Coronavirus: Man City vs Arsenal postponed after players met infected Olympiakos owner
Evangelos Marinakis, who also owns Nottingham Forest, met some of the Arsenal players after their Europa League round-of-32 meeting in London on February 27
Last Updated: 11/03/20 4:38pm
Manchester City's Premier League home match against Arsenal on Wednesday has been postponed because players from the London club have had contact with the owner of Greek side Olympiakos, who has contracted the coronavirus.
A number of Arsenal players had met Evangelos Marinakis following their Europa League round-of-32 meeting in London on February 27.
Marinakis, who also owns Championship side Nottingham Forest, said on Tuesday he had contracted the coronavirus.
"Manchester City's Premier League fixture at home to Arsenal has been postponed," City said in a statement.
"The decision to postpone tonight's game has been taken as a precautionary measure on medical advice, after it emerged that personnel from Arsenal FC have come into contact with the Olympiakos owner, Evangelos Marinakis, who has been named as a positive case of COVID-19."
Arsenal said the risk to their players was "extremely low" but they would follow medical guidelines.
"The medical advice we have received puts the risk of them developing COVID-19 at extremely low," Arsenal said in a statement.
"However, we are strictly following 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.
"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."
The Premier League said it had no alternative but to postpone the game between City and Arsenal and complete a proper risk assessment, but added that no other matches were in immediate danger of being postponed.
"All necessary measures are being taken and the Premier League currently has no plans to postpone any other matches," it said in a statement.
Arsenal's next opponents, Brighton, have confirmed that they expect Saturday's match between the teams to go ahead.
"The risk is considered extremely low and Saturday's match remains scheduled to go ahead with the self-isolation period for those players ending tomorrow (Thursday), as we continue to follow government and medical advice with regard to the coronavirus," Brighton said in a statement.
Olympiakos football staff test negative for coronavirus
Olympiakos announced on Wednesday morning that all their football staff have tested negative for coronavirus.
The Greek club said in a statement: "Olympiakos FC informs that after the required medical exams to which all the members of the football staff, as well as board members and staff, were submitted, all the tests came out negative for the COVID-19 virus."
The Greek side face Wolves in the Europa League behind closed doors in Athens on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, Wolves said on Tuesday that their request to European soccer's governing body UEFA to postpone their Europa League last-16 first leg against Olympiakos had been rejected.
Wolves had said that the trip to Greece posed unnecessary risks to their "players, staff, supporters and the families of all who travel, at such critical and uncertain times".
A sixth person has died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, with confirmed cases rising to 382, while the NHS in England is planning to "ramp up" testing facilities so 10,000 coronavirus tests can be performed each day.
Coronavirus: Key sporting developments
- Nottingham Forest have announced on Wednesday that all staff, players and officers had been tested for coronavirus and that all results had come back negative, following Tuesday's news that owner Evangelos Marinakis had contracted the virus
- Chelsea's Champions League last-16 second leg game against Bayern Munich at the Allianz on March 18 will be played behind closed doors, as will Barcelona's decisive match with Napoli on the same night. PSG's match with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday is also being played behind closed doors
- Manchester United's Europa League last-16 first-leg match at LASK on Thursday will be played behind closed doors. Wolves' Europa League tie at Olympiakos in Greece on Thursday will also have no spectators inside the stadium. Wolves have confirmed they had a request to postpone Thursday's Europa league clash with Olympiacos rejected by UEFA. Rangers' away leg vs Bayer Leverkusen on March 19 is to be played behind closed doors. Roma will not travel to Spain for their Europa League match against Sevilla on Thursday after their plane from Italy was not authorised to land
- The Italian football federation (FIGC) admitted on Tuesday the Serie A season might not finish because of the coronavirus outbreak. All domestic sporting action has been suspended in Italy after prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced that the whole country would be on lockdown from Tuesday morning
- All La Liga games for at least the next two weeks will be played behind closed doors following updated advice from the Spanish authorities
- All Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches until April 15 will be played behind closed doors amid the outbreak, the French League (LFP) said on Tuesday. The French League Cup final between PSG and Lyon on April 4 has been postponed
- The Republic of Ireland's Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia in Bratislava on March 26 will be played behind closed doors. Germany's international football friendly against Italy on March 31 will also be played behind closed doors.
- The Bosnia & Herzegovina Football Federation has confirmed ticket sales for this month's Euro 2020 play-off match with Northern Ireland have been suspended
- England's friendly matches against Italy on March 27 and Denmark on March 31 - both at Wembley - will currently go ahead as planned, according to the Football Association
- The France vs Ireland Six Nations match was postponed on Monday. As it stands, the Wales vs Scotland match is the only game in the final round of the Six Nations due to go ahead as originally scheduled, after the Italy vs England game in Rome was postponed last week
- Catalans' Super League game at home to Leeds Rhinos in Perpignan on Saturday will go ahead behind closed doors
- Tennis tournament the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells was due to start in California on Monday but will now not take place
- The Indian Open golf tournament, scheduled to take place from March 19-22 in New Delhi, has been postponed