Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The club disclosed this on Thursday, adding it has ordered closure of its London training centre. It also noted it has directed those who have recently come in contact with the manager to self-isolate.
The club, in a statement, said “Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution.
“We expect those who did not have close contact with Mikel to return to work in the coming days. In the meantime our Colney and Hale End training centres will undergo a deep clean and our other club sites are operating as normal.”
The managing director of the club, Vinai Venkatesham, was quoted as saying: “The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is. Our thoughts are with Mikel who is disappointed but in good spirits. We are in active dialogue with all the relevant people to manage this situation appropriately, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows.”
In the same vein, the club’s head of football, Raul Sanllehi said: “Mikel and the full first-team squad, players and staff, will be fully supported, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows. Obviously Mikel’s full recovery is the priority now for us all.”
“We will work with Public Health England on the next steps in regard to our facilities and staff, and with the Premier League, Football Association and relevant clubs around our forthcoming matches in the Premier League and Emirates FA Cup.
“It is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates. We will update supporters who have tickets for forthcoming games with more information as soon as possible.”
This comes after fears of the virus prompted a postponement of an earlier match between Arsenal and Manchester City during the week.
The virus has continued to cause panic in the football world, with Cristiano Ronaldo also said to be quarantined in Portugal after his Juventus team mate tested positive for the virus.
CRISPNG had earlier reported Nigerian duo of Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho also risk contracting the virus after three Leicester City players showed symptoms of the deadly virus.
The virus has continued to ravage countries across the world, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring it a global pandemic on Wednesday.