The much-anticipated English Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester on Wednesday has been postponed after players were suspected to come in contact of Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis. Marinakis, who was two weeks ago present at the Emirates for Nottingham Forrest’s Europa League match against the Gunners, informed that he had been tested posted for the novel Coronavirus via a post on Instagram. Also Read - Coronavirus Pandemic: English Premier League, French Ligue 1 Suspend All Matches
Although the chances of players contracting the virus is estimated to be low, the management wants to take no risk and the EPL opted to reschedule the contest to a later date. Also Read - Arsenal's Mikel Arteta, Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea Test Positive For Coronavirus
“Following yesterday’s news that Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis has recently contracted Covid-19, we have been taking medical advice and tracing any individuals who had what the guidelines define as close contact with him at the game 13 days ago,” Arsenal said in a statement. Also Read - Manchester United Down LASK 5-0 in Europa League Last-16
“As a result of this exercise we identified that a number of players met the Olympiacos owner immediately following the game.
“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 suspects to have come in contact with Marinakis have been quarantined for two weeks. The postponement comes days after the Champions League and Europa League’s matches were forced to be contested within closed doors, to which City manage Guardiola had said that he would rather have all matches suspended than conduct them behind closed doors.
The effect of Coronavirus has impacted football globally. The Serie-A, the top-flight football in Italy has been put on hold as the country serves a national lockdown. Matches in the top two divisions in Spain and France have been forced to be contested under locked doors, whereas in countries like China, South Korea and Japan, it has been suspended entirely.