The widespread coronavirus outbreak has hit on a soccer manager of European clubs and there was fear that several players were also reported in contact with the clubs’ owner during the soccer events of European leagues. With this new development, some players of the Arsenal team had been put under isolation and a Premier League match was postponed due to the fear of the spread of the virus.
Arsenal Team Quarantined
On February 27 in London, Arsenal had a match with the Greek team, Olympiakos Piraeus, for the round of 32 meetings of Europa League, annual Europe-based football competition, and some of Arsenal players had met the owner of the Greek team, Evangelos Marinakis who was claimed to be virus-positive.
On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, Marinakis, who owns English Championship (second tier) side Nottingham Forest, said that he had contracted the disease. Meanwhile, the Greek club released a statement the next day claiming that their players and staff were found negative in the virus tests. In response to a question, Arsenal officials said in a statement the risk to their players was “extremely low”.
The English team officials added, “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 officials put further, “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.”
Impact on Premier League and Europa League
Apart from keeping some Arsenal players under isolation, the Premier League on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, called off the London club’s match at Manchester City which was scheduled to pay against Arsenal. Officials of the Premier League said that it had no choice but to cancel the game considering the risk involved. However, the officials stated, “All necessary measures are being taken and the Premier League currently has no plans to postpone any other matches.”
Globally, more than 116,000 cases are found related to virus infection and the disease has killed over 4,000 people. Several international sports events had been postponed due to the widespread of the virus.
On Tuesday, a team of Premier League side, Wolverhampton Wanderers made a request to European soccer’s governing body UEFA to postpone their Europa League against the Greek team, Olympiakos for the last-16 first-leg match. However, the request had been rejected by the officials besides the Wolves claiming of the risk involved.
Citing the match would be played without the audience in the stadium, Wolves had insisted that the match against the Greek team would be unnecessary risks to their “players, staff, supporters and the families of all who travel, at such critical and uncertain times.”
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