Arsenal close training ground after Arteta contracts coronavirus
Written by Simon Austin — March 12, 2020
ARSENAL have closed their London Colney training centre and Hale End Academy after Head Coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for COVID-19 this evening.
Staff who had recent close contact with the Spaniard are self-isolating, in line with Government health guidelines. The club's match at Brighton on Saturday is off, while the Premier League has called an emergency meeting with clubs tomorrow (Friday) in the wake of the news about Arteta.
"We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution," the club said in a statement.
"We expect those who did not have close contact with Mikel to return to work in the coming days. In the meantime our Colney and Hale End training centres will undergo a deep clean and our other club sites are operating as normal."
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.”
Managing director Vinai Venkatesham added: “The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is. 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 said: “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.”
The club will work with Public Health England "on the next steps in regard to our facilities and staff, and with the Premier League, Football Association and relevant clubs around our forthcoming matches in the Premier League and Emirates FA Cup".
"It is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates," Arsenal added. "We will update supporters who have tickets for forthcoming games with more information as soon as possible.
"We are now working to trace any other people who have had recent close contact with Mikel. We will let them know what has happened and they should follow the NHS guidance which is likely to recommend self-isolation."
Chelsea have closed the men' team building at their training ground after Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus. All first-team players and staff are self-isolating with those who did not have "close contact" with the player returning "in the coming days".
Thank you for all your good wishes, as I said in the video I’m feeling good and hope to see you all soon!!?????????? pic.twitter.com/hn5d0ikm60— Callum Hudson-Odoi (@Calteck10) March 13, 2020
"The rest of our training facility, Stamford Bridge and our other facilities are operating as normal," the club said.
Chelsea added: "Callum displayed symptoms similar to a mild cold on Monday morning and has not been at the training ground since then as a precaution.
"However, his test came in positive this evening and he will undergo a period of self-isolation. Despite testing positive for the virus, Callum is doing well and looking forward to returning to the training ground as soon as it is possible.
"We will continue to adhere to Government and Public Health Guidelines with regard to our facilities and staff and will be discussing next steps with regards to upcoming fixtures with the Premier League on Friday morning. We will provide further updates as necessary via the club’s website."
The 19-year-old tweeted a video (above) in which he said: "As you may be aware I had the virus for the last couple of days which I have recovered from.
"I am following the health guidelines and self-isolating myself from everybody for the week. I hope to see everybody soon and hopefully will be back on the pitch very soon."