LONDON (AFP) – Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the Gunners’ Premier League match at Brighton tonight to be postponed.
Arsenal have closed their training ground as a result of Arteta’s positive test, with Gunners players and club staff who had recent contact with the Spaniard now forced to self-isolate.
“This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly,” Arteta said in a statement on Arsenal’s website.
“I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
Arsenal confirmed the shock news just minutes after the Premier League had said all fixtures would go ahead this weekend despite the spread of the global pandemic.
Arsenal said it was “clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates” and Brighton quickly confirmed their clash at the Amex Stadium had been called off.
“First and foremost our thoughts are with Mikel Arteta and we wish him a speedy recovery,” Brighton Chief Executive Paul Barber said.
“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.”
Arsenal’s Premier League match at Manchester City on Wednesday was postponed and several Gunners players went into self-isolation after Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis contracted the virus.