Footballers and coaches infected by coronavirus: The latest updates

Wednesday18 March 2020 | 18:27
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Coronavirus diagnosis among football players and coaches means at least 14-day quarantine for all players who have had close contact with the infected ones, which leads to transformative changes in the soccer schedule around the world.

The coronavirus has made its way into the football world, and in addition to cancellations, postponements and other measurements from leagues around the world, the disease has affected professional footballers and coaches as well.

Here is a list of all the football players and coaches who have been diagnosed with coronavirus. Come back here for the latest updates:

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tests positive for COVID-19

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Later, the club announced that the team's London Colney training center has been closed. Arteta has been the first football figure in the Premier League to be diagnosed with COVID-19.

Club personnel who had close contact with Arteta are now in self-isolation which the club says is in line with government health guidelines. Within 12 hours, the Premier League, EFL, and FA announced the suspension of professional football across England until April 3.

Arsenal's match against Brighton on Saturday was postponed following the news before the entire slate of Premier League matches was suspended.

Arteta announced on his Twitter that he is feeling better while saying thanks to those who expressed concern and added that the league has made the right decision.

"Thanks for your words and support. Feeling better already. We're all facing a huge & unprecedented challenge. Everyone's health is all that matters right now. Protect each other by following the guidelines & we'll come through this together. Well done PL for making the right decision."

Arsenal's match with Manchester City on Wednesday was the first in the league to be postponed, with that decision coming before Arteta tested positive. The game was called off because the owner of Greek club Olympiakos has also been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Juventus player Daniele Rugani tests positive for COVID-19

Although Rugani is not the first player in Europe to test positive for the disease, he is the first player in the country's top league to catch the virus as the outbreak continues to spread across the world.

It is worth mentioning that Italy is the second-worst affected country after China. Italy is among the countries worst hit by the coronavirus, with more than 12,000 confirmed cases and more than 800 deaths.

Rugani was on the bench when Juventus played its title rival, Inter Milan, behind closed doors on Sunday, and his diagnosis means he must be quarantined for 14 days along with those who have been in close contact with him.

The Italian soccer season was already in jeopardy. While Juventus was to be allowed to play its Champions League match without spectators, Italy has banned all domestic sports events until April 3.

Rugani’s diagnosis could lead to quarantine for all opponents who have played against Juventus in recent weeks. Rugani played against Brescia on Feb. 16 and Spal on Feb. 22 and was an unused substitute in the first game against Lyon in the Champions League and in Sunday’s match against Inter.

Inter’s Europa League game this week with Spain’s Getafe had already been called off after the Spanish authorities barred the Italian team from entering the country.

Callum Hudson-Odoi tests positive for COVID-19

Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi was confirmed to have been a positive Covid-19 case. The 19 years old winger is the first player in the Premier League to have a confirmed case of the virus.

COVID-19 has caused league closures around the globe as the World Health Organization recently elevated it to a pandemic.

Callum later revealed that he had recovered from the virus.

"Hi guys, as you may be aware I had the virus for the last couple of days, which I've recovered from," Hudson-Odoi said on his social media channels.

"I'm following the health guidelines and self-isolating for the week. I hope to see everybody soon and hopefully be back on the pitch very soon. Take care."

The Blues stopped their training in response to the news, while those who had close contact with the player were told to self-isolate in line with the health guidelines of the British government.

Ezequiel Garay and Eliaquim Mangala test positive for COVID-19

Valencia and Argentina defender Ezequiel Garay became the first La Liga player to announce a positive test earlier on Sunday.

Later, Valencia center-back Eliaquim Mangala said he had tested positive and was self-isolating.

The 29-year-old’s Ezequiel Garay on Sunday became the first La Liga player to contract the virus that has affected a host of global sports events.

“I knew today that I am #coronavirus positive,” former Manchester City defender Mangala said on Twitter. “I’m feeling good and I have no symptoms associated with the virus. However, I am confined in-house and separated from my family.

“I learned we can carry the virus without having symptoms, that’s why I recommend everyone to follow confinement measures and avoid contact with other people, as much as possible, even if you feel well.”

Jose Gaya also announced his diagnosis on Sunday. He posted: "I have tested positive for the coronavirus. I am isolated in my house and totally asymptomatic.

"Therefore, I want to take advantage of this social network so that we do not collapse our healthcare.

"Now it's the elderly people who need it the most, and it's the serious cases that need to be taken care of by our health heroes."

Valencia released a statement on the affected players and staff members saying: “They’re in their homes in good health and under isolation measures.

“We are confident that with solidarity, responsibility and good spirits we will beat this pandemic.”

Valencia has recently confirmed that 35 percent of their squad has tested positive for coronavirus with their total cases rising to nine.

La Liga suspended the next two rounds of fixtures and Real Madrid put their team into quarantine after a player from their basketball club tested positive because they had used the same training facilities.


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