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Coronavirus: Brighton v Arsenal postponed after Arteta's positive test

By Jamie Smith

London, March 13: Brighton and Hove Albion have announced their Premier League fixture against Arsenal has been postponed after Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus.

Arsenal announced on Thursday that Arteta had the virus shortly after the Premier League had confirmed all weekend fixtures were set to go ahead as planned.

After the Arteta news broke, the Premier League then said an emergency club meeting would be held on Friday, with a suspension of matches expected as a result.

However, Brighton have already moved to confirm Saturday's home game against the Gunners will not be going ahead as Arsenal's first-team squad are going into self-isolation.

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 Premier League has announced this evening that they will convene an emergency meeting of all clubs tomorrow morning [Friday], and we will update supporters on future fixtures as and when we are in a position to do so."

Arteta is the highest-profile football figure to be diagnosed with the virus. Juventus defender Daniele Rugani has also tested positive for coronavirus.

Brendan Rodgers said three Leicester City players are in self-isolation after showing symptoms and Manchester City have confirmed a first-team player is self-isolating due to a family member having fallen ill. City's game against Arsenal on Wednesday was postponed amid the crisis.

Arsenal were knocked out of the Europa League last month by Olympiacos, whose owner Evangelos Marinakis later tested positive for the virus after attending the game at Emirates Stadium.

Top-flight fixtures in Italy and Spain have already been suspended while FIFA has announced this month's South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup have been postponed.

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Story first published: Friday, March 13, 2020, 5:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 13, 2020
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