Brighton vs Arsenal postponed after Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has caused the Premier League to postpone the game between Brighton and Arsenal on Saturday after Mikel Arteta tested positive for the virus.

Arsenal released a statement on Thursday confirming that head coach Arteta had contracted the disease , causing the club to close their London Colney training centre.

It was shortly followed by Brighton's statement.

Brighton said: "In light of the news that broke earlier on Thursday evening concerning Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and his first-team squad, we can confirm that Saturday’s match against Arsenal has now been postponed.

"Arsenal confirmed on Thursday night that their head coach has tested positive for the coronavirus, and that their entire first-team squad are now self-isolating."

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Brighton CEO Paul Barber commented: “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, and we will update supporters on future fixtures as and when we are in a position to do so.”

Any club staff who had close contact with Arteta has gone into self-isolation, with Arsenal confirming that “we expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff”.

Manchester City’s Champions League game against Real Madrid was called off when the La Liga giants went into quarantine after one of the club’s basketball players tested positive for coronavirus.

Now, Arsenal have done the same, forcing the Premier League to call off their upcoming game against Brighton.

The club’s managing director Vinai Venkatesham said: “The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is.

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“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.”

Arteta said: “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”

  • Arsenal FC
  • Brighton Hove Albion FC
  • Premier League
  • Coronavirus

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