By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
After Arsenal Football Club suffered elimination from Europa League after playing Olympiacos of Greece, four of the clubs staffs and several players have been quarantined for a suspected case of Coronavirus.
The four staff and players were suspected to have had contact with Olympiacos owner, Evangelos Marinakis, who has been declared to have tested positive to the deadly virus.
To prevent further spread of the virus, Premier League board has decided that the game between Arsenal and Manchester City scheduled for Etihad stadium should be postponed immediately.
Arsenal, in a statement on its official website on Wednesday, stressed that though chances of the four staff and players contacting the virus were low, the decision was reached after medical advice.
“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 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 traveling 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 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”.