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Coronavirus: Premier League insists no plans to postpone more matches after Arsenal's Manchester City trip put back as players self-isolate

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Manchester City's Premier League game at home to Arsenal has been postponed.

Manchester City's Premier League game at home to Arsenal has been postponed.

PA

Manchester City's Premier League game at home to Arsenal has been postponed.

The Premier League has insisted there are no plans to postpone any more matches after Arsenal's trip to Manchester City on Wednesday evening was put back while some of the Gunners players went into self-isolation.

The players had come into contact with Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis before it emerged he had contracted the coronavirus.

Marinakis, who also owns Nottingham Forest, met some of the Arsenal players after his Greek side beat the Gunners in the Europa League last month, with the decision made to call off the game at the Etihad Stadium as they were assessed to ensure they had not been infected with the virus.

A statement in the early hours of Wednesday morning confirmed the news, with Arsenal insisting that while their players were unlikely to have caught the virus, the move to cancel the game had been made 'as a precaution'.

"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," read the club statement.

"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.

"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."

The Premier League said in a statement: "Following medical advice, Arsenal FC and Manchester City FC consider it is necessary to postpone their fixture due to be played this evening to give time to fully assess the situation.

"The Premier League has therefore agreed that tonight's game will be rearranged.

"We understand this will cause inconvenience and cost to fans planning to attend the game but Arsenal, Manchester City and the Premier League have agreed that the short notice of Mr Marinakis' infection means there is no alternative but to take the time to complete a proper assessment of risk."

The League said the postponement was linked directly to Marinakis's infection, and there were currently no plans to postpone other matches.

Wolves, meanwhile, are incensed UEFA has decided not to postpone their shceduled Europa League tie at Olympiacosm after Marinakis - who is also Nottingham Forest's majority owner - announced on Tuesday he had contracted the virus.

The Premier League side's appeal to have Thursday's last-16 first leg called off was rejected by UEFA and the game will go ahead behind closed doors as the spread of coronavirus continues to affect sporting events.

Despite Marinakis' diagnosis and his position at Forest, the English Football League insists there are no immediate plans to postpone any fixtures.

Independent.ie