Coronavirus: Players at Arsenal and Chelsea self-isolate after two cases of COVID-19 identified
FIRST team players at Chelsea and Arsenal are self-isolating after two cases of coronavirus were confirmed at the clubs.
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi have contracted COVID-19.
In a statement, Chelsea FC said its entire men’s squad would be self-isolating, along with coaching staff and backroom staff who came into contact with Hudson-Odoi.
The men’s team building will be closed, but the rest of the training facility, Stamford Bridge and other Chelsea facilities will operate as normal.
The club said Hudson-Odoi had experienced symptoms “similar to a mild cold” on Monday morning and had not been at the training ground since as a precaution.
Earlier on Thursday night, Arsenal announced its first team squad and anyone else who has been in recent close contact with Arteta had also been told to self-isolate.
Arsenal’s clash against Brighton on Saturday has been postponed following the announcement.
In a statement, Brighton’s chief executive Paul Barber said: “First and foremost our thoughts are with Mikel Arteta and we wish him a speedy recovery.
“It’s absolutely essential the health and wellbeing of individuals takes priority and with that in mind Saturday’s match has been postponed.
“We apologise to all fans for any inconvenience but trust everyone will understand that we are all facing an unprecedented situation.”
The statement added: “It is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates.
“We will update supporters who have tickets for forthcoming games with more information as soon as possible.”
The Premier League is now set to convene an emergency club meeting this morning regarding future fixtures.
Arsenal said it is working to trace others who have had recent close contact with Arteta.
The club’s Colney and Hale End training centres will be deep cleaned, but other club sites will operate as normal.
Following the announcement, Arteta said: “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
Arsenal’s managing director, Vinai Venkatesham, said the health of its staff and the wider public was the club’s “top priority”.
He added: “Our thoughts are with Mikel who is disappointed but in good spirits.”
Arsenal’s game at Manchester City was cancelled on Wednesday after team members came into contact with Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis, who announced on Tuesday he had contracted Covid – 19.