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Coronavirus-hit EPL stands on the verge of shutdown

Posted March. 14, 2020 07:48,   

Updated March. 14, 2020 07:48


The English Premier League (EPL) secretariat held an emergency meeting to decide whether to shut down the league after a head coach and an athlete reportedly tested positive for the new coronavirus COVID-19.

Arsenal said in a club statement on Friday that Head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive COVID-19 result. As a result, the club shut down its training ground located in London while ordering the whole first-team squad to self-isolate.

Chelsea also issued a statement on Friday that winger Callum Hudson-Odoi came down with COVID-19. “Chelsea personnel who had recent close contact with the player in the men’s team building will now self-isolate in line with the government’s health guidelines,” said the club. A London-based Chelsea training center was closed as well. According to Chelsea, Hudson-Odoi exhibited symptoms similar to a mild cold on Monday morning and was diagnosed with the virus in the evening. The club stated that he had not been at the training ground since Monday as a precaution.

Before this, other European football leagues including Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga also ordered a suspension of all their matches. With the novel coronavirus sneaking into major football leagues across Europe, the UEFA Champions League among top clubs will likely face inevitable disruption.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com