Premier League play to carry on ‘as normal’ despite coronavirus concerns

All Premier League matches set for this weekend will go on as scheduled, the league announced on Thursday. Fans are expected to be in attendance. While most leagues around the world are suspending play or playing behind closed doors, the English top flight has decided the action will carry on just days after a decision was made to call off the Arsenal vs. Manchester City game. 

The owner of Greek club Olympiakos has been diagnosed with coronavirus, and he was at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in London on Feb. 27 which played a factor in the game’s cancellation. In Spain, the next two matchdays have been suspended while there will be no games in Italy until April 3. 

The decision from the Premier League comes after advice from prime minister Boris Johnson. Here’s the full release from the league:

Following the latest update from Government issued this afternoon, all Premier League matches will go ahead as scheduled this weekend. 

While the Prime Minister advised that all sporting events should take place as normal for now, he also indicated that Government is considering banning major public events, like sporting fixtures.

We are therefore continuing to work closely with our clubs, Government, The FA, EFL and other relevant stakeholders to ensure appropriate contingency plans are in place as and when circumstances change

The welfare of players, staff and supporters is of paramount importance and we will continue to follow Public Health England guidelines thoroughly. 

We will keep everyone updated as appropriate.

This news comes as three Leicester City players are in isolation with coronavirus symptoms while Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy is also in isolation after a family member tested positive, according to Sky Sports. England hosted a Champions League game with fans on Wednesday as Liverpool was eliminated by Atletico Madrid at Anfield. Manchester United played a Europa League game in Austria on Thursday without spectators. 

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