15th March, 2020
The Coronavirus is surely making a very serious inroad into the sporting arena as it has forced the authorities to cancel a wide range of events in order to stem its spread.
This is more so as it has managed to infect some very important sports personalities all over the world.
Coronavirus Covid-19 has wrought havoc across the world and, unsurprisingly, football has not escaped the effects of the outbreak.
Leagues and competitions everywhere have been forced to postpone games, while doubts linger over the future of Euro 2020 as European governments battle to slow the spread.
The virus does not discriminate and footballers, despite being incredibly fit athletes, are just as susceptible to getting the coronavirus as anyone else.
Indeed, a number of clubs and their players have been directly impacted.
A number of individuals at clubs in the Premier League have been diagnosed as having the coronavirus, which has subsequently had an effect on others, including team-mates, coaches, staff and so on.
Just minutes after the Premier League announced that games would go ahead as planned, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta was confirmed to have contracted the virus.
As a result, the entire Gunners squad was quarantined and their game against Brighton was postponed.
“This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly,” Arteta said in a statement released by the club. “I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
News of Arteta testing positive came a number of weeks after Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis revealed he had the virus after his side’s Europa League win over the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium.
However, the cases are believed to be unrelated.
Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi was confirmed to have been a positive Covid-19 case, but 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’ training ground was partially closed in response to the news, while those who had close contact with the player were told to self-isolate in line with the widely observed medical advice.
Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is understood to have been forced to self-isolate when it emerged that a family member had contracted the virus.
On Friday March 13, Everton announced that their squad was in self-isolation after a player reported symptoms consistent with those of coronavirus.
As well as imposing self-isolation measures, the Toffees also closed their training facility at Finch Farm and the club headquarters in Liverpool.
Brendan Rodgers indicated that a number of Leicester City players had shown “symptoms and signs” of coronavirus, with those concerned entering a period of self-isolation.
Five Bournemouth staff members, including goalkeeper Artur Boruc , went into voluntary self-isolation after the club confirmed that they had displayed symptoms consistent with Covid-19.
Cardiff City boss Neil Harris confirmed both a player and a member of his staff are in self-isolation for precautionary measures, but club sources stated that neither tested positive for coronavirus.
In Serie A a number of players have tested positive for Covid-19, the most notable being Juventus defender Daniele Rugani .
“You will have read the news and that’s why I want to reassure all those who are worrying about me, I’m fine,” Rugani tweeted.
“I urge everyone to respect the rules, because this virus makes no distinctions! Let’s do it for ourselves, for our loved ones and for those around us. #grazie.”
The Italy international was confirmed as a case following Juve’s behind-closed-doors victory over Inter , prompting the Nerazzurri to cancel all competitive activities .
News of Rugani’s diagnosis was a source of concern for a number of his team-mates, with Cristiano Ronaldo opting to remain in his hometown of Madeira in an effort to avoid picking the virus up.
Rumours suggested that Paulo Dybala had contracted the virus, but the Argentine denied that this was the case, posting an update while in voluntary isolation.
South of Turin in Genoa, Sampdoria striker Manolo Gabbiadini became the second player in Serie A to be confirmed as having contracted Covid-19.
Sampdoria later confirmed that Gabbiadini’s team-mates Omar Colley, Albin Ekdal, Antonino La Gumina, Morten Thorsby, Fabio Depaoli and Bartosz Bereszynski had also tested positive, as well as club doctor Amedeo Baldari.
Fiorentina players Dusan Vlahovic, Patrick Cutrone and German Pezzella have all tested positive for Covid-19.
Spanish giants Real Madrid have been directly affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with the club placed on lockdown after a Blancos basketball player was diagnosed with the virus.
The capital club’s football and basketball teams share facilities, prompting both outfits to quarantine their players and staff.
Their Clasico rivals Barcelona have suspended all activity – training and so on – and told their staff to stay at home.
A Barca statement said: “Given the healthcare situation and according to the recommendations of the Club’s medical staff, the first team has suspended all activity until further notice.”
The news led to the postponement of Real’s Champions League clash with Manchester City and no doubt contributed to La Liga’s decision to suspend the football for two matchdays.
Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe underwent testing for the virus, but results came back negative ahead of his side’s Champions League last-16 clash with Borussia Dortmund.
Despite that, PSG have suspended first-team training, with games across France postponed.
South Korea international Hyun-Jun Suk, who plays for Ligue 2 side Troyes, tested positive after not feeling well for a few days.
In Germany, Hannover defender Timo Hubers tested positive for coronavirus, and Paderborn defender Luca Kilian became the first Bundesliga player to contract the disease.