Gamers wait on the pitch whereas a VAR (Video Assistant Referee) assessment is performed earlier than awarding a aim to Arsenal through the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and West Ham on the Emirates Stadium in London on March 7, 2020.
Ian KINGTON / AFP
Arsenal’s recreation at Manchester Metropolis set for Wednesday has been postponed after gamers from the London membership have been quarantined, making it the primary Premier League soccer fixture to be referred to as off due to coronavirus.
Arsenal mentioned gamers and 4 workers had been remoted at their houses after coming into contact with the proprietor of Greek membership Olympiakos, Vangelis Marinakis, who has since examined constructive for COVID-19.
“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,” an Arsenal assertion mentioned.
“As a result, the players are unavailable for tonight’s (Wednesday’s) match against Manchester City and the Premier League has decided the game should be postponed.”
An image exhibits the pitch and stands forward of the English FA Cup fifth spherical soccer match between Portsmouth and Arsenal at Fratton Park stadium in Portsmouth, southern England, on March 2, 2020. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
The primary postponement within the Premier League, which has an enormous worldwide following, follows widespread disruption to soccer and different sports activities throughout the globe.
Arsenal have been knocked out of the Europa League by Olympiakos on February 27. Marinakis, proprietor of the Greek membership and English facet Nottingham Forest, introduced on Tuesday that he had examined constructive for the coronavirus.
However Arsenal mentioned the gamers and workers, who met Marinakis after the sport on the Emirates Stadium, will return to work on Friday forward of Saturday’s journey to Brighton.
“The medical advice we have received puts the risk of them developing COVID-19 at extremely low,” it added.
The Premier League referred to as the transfer a “precautionary measure” and mentioned there have been no plans to postpone another video games.
Arsenal’s opponents on Saturday struggling Brighton tweeted that their recreation was nonetheless on.
“Albion’s match against Arsenal this Saturday remains scheduled to go ahead as planned, in line with government advice, and following consultation with the Premier League and medical advisors. #BHAFC,” they tweeted.
Soccer’s Serie A and all different sports activities have been placed on maintain in Italy, whereas the highest two divisions in Spain and France will probably be performed in empty stadiums for no less than the following two weeks.
UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League have additionally been each compelled to rearrange matches behind closed doorways because the epidemic spreads.
Olympiakos host Wolverhampton Wanderers in Athens this week within the Europa League, in one of many last-16 video games that will probably be performed in entrance of an empty stadium.
Wolves supervisor Nuno Espirito Santo has joined numerous managers, together with Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, in voicing disquiet at being requested to play with out followers.
“If we have to go we will. But we don’t agree — we’re not happy to go,” he informed Sky Sports activities.
“Behind closed doors doesn’t make sense,” he added. “We’re pretending to live a normal life when things aren’t normal.”
Wednesday’s postponement might additionally frustrate Premier League leaders Liverpool, as a defeat for Manchester Metropolis would have taken Liverpool to the brink of their first top-flight title in 30 years.