Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus as the pandemic continues to rock the sporting world.
The 37 year-old former Arsenal captain was the first to be announced to have the bug, days after the team members were asked to self-isolate , following their interaction with Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis, who tested positive for the virus after visiting the Emirates during the 27 February Europa League match with Olympiacos.
A number of Arsenal players met Marinaki after the game.
Arteta revealed he took the test and will now be put in quarantine in a bid to limit the spread.
Arteta added he hopes to be back “as soon as allowed” after becoming the latest name in football to be struck down by the illness.
“This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly.I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed, ”he said.
Marinaki’s testing positive was the reason that led the Premier League to postpone Arsenal’s game against Manchester City on Wednesday. \
In a statement, Arsenal said they have closed their London Colney training ground after the Arteta positive result.
“Our London Colney training centre has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive COVID-19 result this evening.
“Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution.
We expect those who did not have close contact with Mikel to return to work in the coming days. In the meantime our Colney and Hale End training centres will undergo a deep clean and our other club sites are operating as normal.
Managing director Vinai Venkatesham said: “The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is. Our thoughts are with Mikel who is disappointed but in good spirits. We are in active dialogue with all the relevant people to manage this situation appropriately, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows.”
Head of football Raul Sanllehi added: “Mikel and the full first-team squad, players and staff, will be fully supported, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows. Obviously Mikel’s full recovery is the priority now for us all.”
“We will work with Public Health England on the next steps in regard to our facilities and staff, and with the Premier League, Football Association and relevant clubs around our forthcoming matches in the Premier League and Emirates FA Cup.
“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.
“We are now working to trace any other people who have had recent close contact with Mikel. We will let them know what has happened and they should follow the NHS guidance which is likely to recommend self-isolation”.