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ARSENAL’S Premier League match with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium this evening has been postponed as a precautionary measure after it was confirmed that several of the Gunners players had met with Olympiakos owner, Evangelos Marinakis, who has contracted the virus.
Marinakis announced earlier in the week that he had tested positive for Covid-19. The 52-year-old, who also owns Nottingham Forest, had converged with a number of the Arsenal players following the UEFA Europa League tie between the Gunners and Olympiakos at the Emirates Stadium a fortnight ago.
A statement posted on www.arsenal.com explained:
‘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 Mr Marinakis during the match – will also remain at home until the 14 days are complete.’
Since the Olympiacos match at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal have faced Portsmouth in the FA Cup and West Ham United in the Premier League. It currently remains uncertain as to whether the Hammers match with Wolverhampton Wanderers or the Gunners trip to Brighton this weekend with be affected as a result?