The Premier League game between Manchester City and Arsenal at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night has been postponed “as a precautionary measure” due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Premier League has said.
The move came after a positive test for Covid-19 was returned by Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis – whose side played at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on February 27.
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.”
News of the postponement emerged after Arsenal released a statement confirming some of their stars, who had played in that game against the Greek side, had been placed in 14-day self-isolation.
Those players were made unavailable by Arsenal, forcing the Premier League into a postponement.
It’s reported in a statement that Marinakis met several Arsenal players and staff during the game.
The Gunners said in a statement: “We have been taking medical advice and tracing any individuals who had what the (Government) 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.”
Despite Marinakis’ diagnosis – together with the fact he attended Friday night’s clash between his side and Millwall at the City Ground – the English Football League also says there are no immediate plans to postpone any fixtures.
Confirming matches across its three divisions would continue as normal for the time being, an EFL statement said: “The League is in dialogue to fully ascertain the set of circumstances that existed when Mr Marinakis visited (Forest) last week and in conjunction with the club will make a determination on what measures are to be taken – if any – when full details are known.”
Since losing to Olympiacos, Arsenal have played Portsmouth in the FA Cup and West Ham in the Premier League.