Arsenal head coach, Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus.
A club statement on Thursday night confirmed that Arteta “received a positive COVID-19” and that as a result, their London Colney training centre has been shut down.
The statement added that all persons at the club who have come into contact with Arteta recently will now self isolate.
This, the club says includes the entire Gunners first team and coaching staff.
All other staff of the club who have not been in contact with Arteta, however, are expected to return to work as normal “in the coming days”
“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.”
Arsenal’s Managing Director, Vinai Venkatesham said the club is working to deal with the current situation in order to ensure that normal service is restored as soon as possible.
“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.”
The club’s head of football Raul Sanllehi added: “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.”
Sporting activities across Europe, in particular, have taken a serious hit since the outbreak of the disease, which has now been upgraded to epidemic status by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese leagues have all been suspended while games in the Italian and German leagues have been played behind closed doors.
On Wednesday, Juventus defender, Rugani tested positive for the disease, resulting in persons who were in contact with him being quarantined.
The Premier League had largely been unaffected until now with Arteta’s positive test.
Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is also reportedly self-isolating after a family member presented with symptoms of coronavirus.
It’s unclear whether this weekend’s Premier League matches will go ahead given the new developments.
How is Ghana dealing with COVID-19?
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) stated earlier on Thursday that football matches at all levels in the country will proceed as scheduled.
“The GFA has therefore decided to maintain the schedule of all competitions as we continue to liaise with the Government, the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health and follow all national health protocols on the matter.”
However, given the confirmation of the country’s first two cases of Coronavirus, that position might be revised.