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13 Mar, 2020 09:38

Premier League will SURELY bow to the inevitable and suspend season after Chelsea & Arsenal coronavirus cases

Premier League will SURELY bow to the inevitable and suspend season after Chelsea & Arsenal coronavirus cases

The English Premier League appears set to bow to the inevitable and suspend all matches after Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi became the first footballer in the league to test positive for the coronavirus.

The whole of the Chelsea squad was sent into 15 days of self-isolation after Hudson-Odoi, 19, was confirmed as being infected with Covid-19 after missing training at the start of this week.

The news followed just hours after Arsenal reported that their manager, Mikel Arteta, had contracted the virus.

Also on rt.com Arsenal manager Arteta tests positive for Covid-19, forcing football team into self-isolation

Arteta has placed himself in quarantine and any Gunners staff and players who have had contact with him have done the same.

Elsewhere, Leicester City have three players self-isolating after they displayed coronavirus-type symptoms, manager Brendan Rodgers said on Thursday.

Manchester City’s French defender Benjamin Mendy is also self-isolating after a family member was tested for the virus.

On Friday morning, Everton became the latest club to be affected, announcing that their whole team had gone into self-isolation after a player displayed symptoms consitent with Covid-19.

The Premier League have postponed Arsenal’s match with Brighton on Saturday, although as yet there has been no word on the Chelsea fixture due to be played on the same day against Aston Villa.

The only other Premier League game to fall victim to the coronavirus outbreak so far is Arsenal’s encounter with Manchester City earlier this week.

That step was taken after it emerged that the owner of Arsenal's recent opponents, Greek team Olympiacos, had tested positive for the disease.

In Italy, the entire Juventus team is in quarantine after defender Daniele Rugani was confirmed as having the illness; the same is happening at Real Madrid, where a player in the club's basketball team contracted the disease. 

Also on rt.com ENTIRE Real Madrid team sent into coronavirus quarantine as training base locked down following positive test – reports

All across Europe leagues are being suspended, while in America the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS have all paused their seasons.

As Covid-19 cases approach 600 in the UK, and teams and players face increasing disruption and concerns for the health of all staff and fans, the Premier League is under increasing pressure to follow suit.

Any suspension would be unprecedented and would inevitably involve financial pain amid the uncertainty. The 'whys', 'whats' and 'hows' would be many. 

But in light of the news from Arsenal and Chelsea, the Premier League's stance will surely change at Friday's emergency meeting - for these are increasingly alarming times for sport and society.