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Arsenal’s clash with Manchester City postponed over coronavirus fears

PUBLISHED: 01:19 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 01:28 11 March 2020

A general view of the pitch during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA

A general view of the pitch during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

The Premier League have postponed Arsenal’s Wednesday night clash with Manchester City after members of the Gunners squad and staff met Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Evangelos Marinakis. Picture: Mike Egerton/PAEvangelos Marinakis. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Marinakis had contracted Covid-19, and the Premier League have now decided that the game at the Etihad should not go ahead after the north Londoners identified people who had met the 52-year-old after their Europa League last-32 second-leg clash at the Emirates 13 days ago.

In an official statement, Arsenal said: '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.

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'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 Mr 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 travelling 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 Mr 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.'

Arsenal are yet to confirm which players and staff met Marinakis - who also owns Championship side Nottingham Forest.

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