Manchester City’s Premier League match with Arsenal on Wednesday has been postponed as a “precautionary measure” and several Gunners players are in self-isolation after Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis contracted coronavirus. Arsenal say Marinakis, 52, met a number of their players when the Gunners hosted the Greek side in a Europa League match two weeks ago.
Below are some effects Coronavirus has caused on the sporting world:
Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis has announced he has coronavirus and is now self-isolating.
Wolves’ Europa League tie at Olympiakos in Greece on Thursday – as well as Sevilla vs Roma – will be played behind closed doors.
Barcelona have confirmed their Champions League last-16 second leg game with Napoli – scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 at the Nou Camp – will take place behind closed doors. PSG’s match with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday is also being played behind closed doors.
The Italian football federation (FIGC) admitted on Tuesday the Serie A season might not finish because of the coronavirus outbreak. The FIGC confirmed in a statement Serie A would stop until at least April 3 following a government decree issued on Monday as Italy began an unprecedented, nationwide lockdown imposed to slow Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus. It said its president Gabriele Gravina had put forward three alternatives in case the championship could not be concluded which would be discussed at a meeting on March 23.
This month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers between The Gambia and Gabon should be postponed as the former cannot access seven key Italy-based players, said Scorpions coach Tom Saintfiet. On Monday, Italy announced that the entire country – which is Europe’s worst affected by coronavirus – was in lockdown as it battles to contain the outbreak. With seven of The Gambia’s players – including defender and captain Omar Colley, who plays for Sampdoria – based with Italian clubs, and thus now inaccessible, Saintfiet says it would be too unfair to play the qualifiers.
Zambia’s women’s football team qualified for the first Olympic Games in their history when beating Cameroon 2-1 in Lusaka to qualify on away goals. Trailing 3-2 from the first leg, Zambia won through on away goals after drawing 4-4 on aggregate.
Liverpool have confirmed goalkeeper Alisson will miss next week’s Merseyside derby with a hip injury. The 27-year-old has missed the last two matches and has now been ruled out of Monday’s trip to Everton as well as Wednesday’s Champions League second-leg game with Atletico Madrid. Stand-in Adrian will continue in goal.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he would prefer matches to be postponed rather than played behind closed doors. Having seen matches across Europe played in empty stadiums, Guardiola feels it is only a matter of time before the Premier League is affected. The City manager said he will be guided by the game’s authorities about how games should be played but his preference would be postponements. “Does football work without spectators?” he said.
Nottingham Forest and Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis has tested positive for coronavirus. Marinakis, 52, was at the City Ground for Forest’s Championship fixture against Millwall on Friday. Olympiakos are due to host Wolves in the Europa League on Thursday, although the BBC understands Wolves have asked for the game to be postponed. “Mr Marinakis was diagnosed after showing the first symptoms on his return to Greece,” said Forest.
Real Madrid pair Thibaut Courtois and Marcelo are injury doubts for the Champions League last-16 second leg against Manchester City on 17 March. Belgium goalkeeper Courtois has an abductor injury while Brazil left-back Marcelo has a hamstring problem.
The first leg of Manchester United’s Europa League last-16 tie at LASK on Thursday will be played behind closed doors because of coronavirus concerns. Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 tie at Bayern Munich on 18 March will also be played without fans present. LASK made the decision following advice from the Austrian government.
Matches in the top two divisions in Spain and France are to be played behind closed doors because of coronavirus concerns. La Liga announced its ruling will affect the next two rounds of fixtures while the French league said fans will be banned until 15 April. La Liga said it acted on guidance from Spain’s ministry of health. The French government announced on Sunday a ban on all gatherings of more than 1,000 people.