Despite only deciding on the date for this game just one week ago, the Premier League have postponed Arsenal’s game in Manchester with less than 24 hours notice due to the Corona virus as it takes hold in the UK.
Arsenal issued the following statement at 1.40am this morning: “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.
“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 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.
“We fully understand how disappointing this is for our supporters, in particular those who were travelling to Manchester for tonight’s match. Tickets will be valid for the match when it’s rearranged.
“As a further precautionary measure, whilst we do not believe there was any close contact with any other Arsenal guests or staff in the directors box restaurant, we are contacting them to advise they should follow the relevant advice if there has been any such contact.
“Everyone at Arsenal Football Club wishes Mr Marinakis a swift recovery and we look forward to the players and staff returning to work on Friday in preparation for our match at Brighton.”
While it is easy to panic in light of what is happening, it is worth remembering that most people make a full recovery from what is a mild virus. But it is also important to follow self-quarantine measures if you think you might have come in contact with the the virus in order to protect the most vulnerable in our society and to halt the spread of the virus.
Common sense is, as always, the order of the day and more information can be found here if you are concerned and what to know what to do.