EPL thrown in chaos as Arteta, Hudson-Odoi test positive for coronavirus

The Premier League was thrown into chaos on Thursday as Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson – Odoi both contracted the new coronavirus , leaving at least one game postponed and other fixtures in doubt.

Arsenal ’ s match at Brighton was put on hold after Arteta ’ s diagnosis sent the London club into lockdown , while Chelsea ’ s players and coaching staff were also ordered into isolation .
Chelsea said they would discuss their upcoming games, starting with Sunday’ s trip to Aston Villa , with Premier League officials .

The league will hold emergency talks on Friday “ regarding future fixtures ” in light of the pandemic , which has shut down football and other sports around the world .

Hudson – Odoi , 19, is the first Premier League player confirmed to have the virus .

He displayed cold symptoms on Monday morning and has stayed away from the club since then.

“ Chelsea personnel who had recent close contact with the player in the men’ s team building will now self – isolate in line with government health guidelines , ” a club statement said .

“ These will include initially the full men ’ s team squad , coaching staff and a number of backroom staff. ”

Arsenal ’ s training ground has been closed and their players and staff have gone into self -isolation following Arteta ’ s positive test .

“ This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly . I will be at work as soon as I’ m allowed , ” Arteta said .

There are over 590 confirmed cases of the virus in Britain and 10 people have died from it so far.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said the government was “ considering the question of banning major public events such as sporting fixtures ” , but was not ready to do so yet .

But Arteta and Hudson – Odoi ’ s illnesses could force the Premier League ’ s hand and lead to the cancellation of matches this weekend and possibly into the future .

– Leicester , Man City players isolated – Arsenal and Chelsea are not the only top – flight clubs affected by the virus.
Leicester , scheduled to play at Watford on Saturday , said on Thursday that three of their players have shown symptoms and are self – isolating as a precaution.

The Foxes said the unnamed trio had “ presented with extremely mild illness ” in recent days.

“ We’ ve had a few players that have shown symptoms and signs, ” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said .

“ We’ ve followed procedure and they have been kept away at this moment from the rest of the squad and then we’ ll see how that develops . ”

Manchester City said one unnamed member of their squad , reportedly France defender Benjamin Mendy , is in self- isolation after a family member suffered a respiratory illness .

The relative is being treated in hospital and has undergone tests for the coronavirus , which can cause shortness of breath .

It is a similar picture across the continent .

In Italy , Europe ’ s worst- hit country , Serie A has suspended matches until at least April 3 and Juventus defender Daniele Rugani has been quarantined .

City ’ s Champions League last 16 second leg meeting with Real Madrid, set for Tuesday , has been postponed after one of the Spanish club ’ s basketball players tested positive for the virus .

All French Ligue 1 matches will be held behind closed doors until April 15, the next two La Liga match days have been suspended and this weekend ’ s Bundesliga fixtures will also go ahead without watching fans.

UEFA , European football ’ s governing body, will consider whether to postpone the Champions League and Euro 2020 at a meeting next week .

Arsenal ’ s league match at Manchester City last Wednesday was postponed and several Gunners players went into self – isolation after Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis contracted the virus .

Marinakis, 52 , met Arsenal players and staff when the Gunners faced Olympiakos in a Europa League tie in February .

If the Premier League does decide to play on, Liverpool could be crowned champions on Monday .

If- second placed City lose to Burnley, then Liverpool will win the title for the first time in 30 years if they beat Everton in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park .

Fixtures (1500 GMT unless stated ):
Aston Villa v Chelsea ( 1730 GMT ), Bournemouth v Crystal Palace , Brighton v Arsenal , Manchester City v Burnley Newcastle v Sheffield United , Norwich v Southampton , Watford v Leicester ( 1230 GMT )
Tottenham v Manchester United (1630 GMT ) , West Ham v Wolves (1400 GMT )
Everton v Liverpool ( 2000 GMT )

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