The Premier League has been suspended until April 3 following Mikel Arteta’s and Callum Hudson Odoi’s positive Coronavirus test results.
? The FA (@FA) March 13, 2020
After news of Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta being diagnosed with Coronavirus, the FA and the Premier League are holding emergency talks to propose on what to do for the rest of the season. It comes following the decision to go with the advice of the Public Health of England that games should go on as normal, however later that night Arsenal’s announcement of a positive COVID-19 case for their head coach and the self-isolation of the first team, including staff, looked to have thwart plans to do so. This was then followed by news of Chelsea’s Callum Hudson Odoi also being tested positive for the virus.
The below has also been postponed:
EFL has taken the decision to suspend games until April 3 at the earliest, where the state of play will be reviewed. That means Championship, League One, League Two, FA Cup, Women’s Super League, Women’s Championship, all youth and development leagues will be off.
Ligue 1 and 2 has been postponed until further notice.
Bundesliga will be postponed from Tuesday March 17 until April 3.
In cricket, England’s Test match against Sri Lanka has been postponed.
In golf, the Players Championship has been called off.
Manchester City’s last-16 second leg against Real Madrid could be postponed after the Spanish club went into quarantine because a player in the Madrid basketball team tested positive for the coronavirus.
The basketball team share a training ground with Zinedine Zidane’s players so all activity at the club’s Valdebebas base has been stopped with immediate effect. La Liga has been cancelled for the next fortnight.
Real have reportedly asked UEFA to postpone their match against City which was due to take place on Tuesday.
Leicester trio in self-isolation
Premier League chiefs will meet with the government later today to discuss what to do in response to the escalating crisis. In the meantime, Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that three Leicester players have shown symptoms of coronavirus and gone into isolation.
Leicester are due to play Watford in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off but, like the rest of the weekend Premier League programme, it remains to be seen if and in what capacity the match will take place.
ATP Tour and NBA suspended by F1 plans to go ahead
Lewis Hamilton has said he’s surprised that the Australian Grand Prix is going ahead amid the pandemic. He was speaking after five F1 team members were advised to go into isolation after exhibiting symptoms that could be related to coronavirus.
The ATP tour has shut down for six weeks, with no further tennis scheduled until 26 April. The decision follows the postponement of Indian Wells and the Fed Cup Finals.
In the US, meanwhile, the NBAseason has put an indefinite stop to all games after a player with the Utah Jazz tested positive.
Manchester City’s home match against Arsenal became the first Premier League fixture to be affected by the coronavirus. There is concern that the virus will cause widespread disruption to the sporting calendar, although Arsenal’s match against Brighton is set to go ahead on Saturday as planned.
The match at the Etihad was postponed as a “precautionary measure” because a small number of Arsenal players and staff were in close proximity to the Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis – who has contracted the virus – when the Greek side played in London 13 days ago.
United to play behind close doors and Chelsea could be next
Last night, Valencia played Atalanta behind closed doors in their Champions League match and PSG and Dortmund will do the same in the French capital tonight.
There will be no fans present when LASK host Manchester United in Austria on Thursday – a decision which reportedly left LASK furious with their country’s government.
Next week, the second leg of Chelsea’s Champions League tie against Bayern Munich could be played in an empty Olympic Stadium.
In Italy, the country with by far the most cases of the virus so far, Serie A, like all other sport, has been suspended until 3 April.
In Spain’s La Liga matches will take place behind closed door for at least the next fortnight.
Tennis and rugby affected with summer tournaments in doubt
The Indian Wells tennis tournament was called off hours before the qualifying matches were due to start after a case of COVID-19 was confirmed in California’s Coachella Valley where the tournament usually takes place.
It remains to be seen when England will play their final Six Nations of the tournament against Italy as the match has been postponed indefinitely, leaving Eddie Jones’ men as [1.33] favourites to finish top but in a frustrating limbo.
Further ahead, Euro 2020 is [1.4] not to kick-off as scheduled on 12 June, although it’s early days for the market and, with the situation changing by the day, making any forecasts is extremely difficult, let alone three months in the future.
But bettors are down on the chances of the Olympics going ahead as planned, making the opening ceremony [1.47] not to go ahead on 24 July as planned.
The Olympic Committee has already confirmed spectators will be barred from both the torch lighting dress rehearsal on Wednesday and the ceremony on Thursday this week – the first time in more than 35 years that the historic ceremony, at Olympia in Greece, will take place without an audience.