Manchester City vs Arsenal fixture postponed as Gunners players forced to self-isolate after meeting Olympiakos owner who tested positive for coronavirus

The Premier League game between Manchester City and Arsenal has been postponed as the Gunners revealed a number of players have been forced to self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution against coronavirus.

The unnamed group met Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis after the defeat to the Greek side at the Emirates on February 27 – and the 52-year-old has since tested positive for Covid-19.

Marinakis confirmed on Instagram that he has had a ‘visit’ from the virus
Marinakis confirmed on Instagram that he has had a ‘visit’ from the virus

Arsenal said in a statement: “We have been taking medical advice and tracing any individuals who had what the guidelines define as close contact with him [Marinakis] at the game 13 days ago.

“As a result of this exercise we identified that a number of players met the Olympiakos 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.

“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.”

The match was due to take place at the Etihad on Wednesday night
The match was due to take place at the Etihad on Wednesday night

Meanwhile, the Premier League confirmed that the match against Man City, which was due to take place at the Etihad on Wednesday night, was being rescheduled as a ‘precautionary measure’.

Information about rescheduled dates is expected in the coming days.

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Marinakis, who also owns Nottingham Forest, was in attendance for the Reds’ Championship game against Millwall last Friday, along with 27,000 fans, and met players and staff that day.

The EFL insists all of the necessary measures are being taken, which includes testing of the whole squad, as they try to figure out the circumstances which surrounded his visit last week.

Matches have taken place behind closed doors across Europe
Matches have taken place behind closed doors across Europe

Wolves, meanwhile, have been left furious that UEFA rejected their appeal to have the Europa League last-16 clash at Olympiakos on Thursday postponed.

The clash is due to take place behind closed doors, however Wolves are adamant the match should not go ahead in light of Marinakis’ diagnosis.

COVID-19 cases in the UK have risen to 373, with six deaths, while there have been more than 115,000 infections worldwide, resulting in over 4,000 deaths.

Italy, the second-worst affected nation behind China, has postponed all domestic sport until April 3, and the top two divisions in Spain and France have gone behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.

The Premier League is scheduled to go ahead as planned, with fans in stadiums, this weekend.