Coronavirus update: Manchester City-Arsenal Premier League match postponed after players met infected owner

In perhaps one of the most notable sporting decisions made in English soccer with regards to coronavirus fears, Manchester City announced on Tuesday that its fixture against Arsenal -- which was set to take place on Wednesday -- would be postponed. The club posted a statement on their website, saying that it was because some personnel from Arsenal came in contact with Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who was diagnosed to have the disease.

The decision to postpone tonight's game has been taken as a precautionary measure on medical advice, after it emerged that personnel from Arsenal FC have come into contact with the Olympiacos owner, Evangelos Marinakis, who has been named as a positive case of COVID-19.

A statement from Arsenal added further explanation to this situation: 

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.

Neither statement mentioned what sort of makeup plans were going to be put in place for this particular match. All that it offered was a notice to fans to not travel to Etihad Stadium for the game.

Fear of spreading the coronavirus through large crowds has affected sporting events all over the world, from the Olympics, to motorsport, to the big four sports leagues of the United States and world soccer. Prior to this announcement the frequent response from clubs to prevent further damage from the disease was to host games behind closed doors. The second leg of Chelsea's Champions League match against Bayern Munich, for example, will be played without any supporters in the stands.

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