Arsenal, Clubs, English Premier League, Manchester City, Nottingham Forest, Olympiakos, Story

Pep Guardiola says matches should be suspended rather than playing with no fans amid coronavirus concerns.

Arsenal’s Premier League match against Manchester City on Wednesday has been postponed after a number of the squad made “close contact” with Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis two weeks ago.

Marinakis, who is also the owner of Championship side Nottingham Forest, announced on Instagram on Tuesday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus — 13 days after being present at the Emirates as his side eliminated Arsenal from the Europa League.

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Arsenal confirmed in a statement on Tuesday night that the players’ risk of contracting the coronavirus was “extremely low” but the Premier League decided the game should be postponed as a precautionary measure.

“Following yesterday’s news that Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis has recently contracted Covid-19, we have been taking medical advice and tracing any individuals who had what the guidelines define as close contact with him at the game 13 days ago,” Arsenal said in a statement.

“As a result of this exercise we identified that a number of players met the Olympiacos owner immediately following the game.

“The medical advice we have received puts the risk of them developing Covid-19 at extremely low. However, we are strictly following the Government guidelines which recommend that anyone coming into close contact with someone with the virus should self-isolate at home for 14 days from the last time they had contact.

“As a result, the players are unavailable for tonight’s match against Manchester City and the Premier League has decided the game should be postponed.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he would rather suspend fixtures than play behind closed doors in response to the coronavirus because it would make “no sense” to carry on without fans.

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