It was announced late Thursday that the English Premier League would hold an emergency meeting shortly following Arsenal Football Club releasing a statement that its manager, Mikel Arteta, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus commonly known as the coronavirus.
The Premier League will convene an emergency club meeting tomorrow morning regarding fixtures after Mikel Arteta tested positive for COVID-19— Premier League (@premierleague) March 12, 2020
Statement: https://t.co/ofi5DhIQZM pic.twitter.com/RmnxRHXooz
Arteta’s positive test comes after a confusing day that saw Leicester City and Manchester City players enter self-isolation and Chelsea cancel practice for facility deep-cleaning. However, it appears Arteta’s positive test is the straw that broke the camel’s back after the English Premier League stared directly all day into the face of a global sports shutdown and shouted, “NO!”
Yes, despite Serie A and La Liga announcing postponement of sporting events in recent days and the majority of professional and collegiate sports in the United States choosing to suspend or cancel its seasons, the English Premier League was content with playing its fiddle as the surrounding sporting landscape burned.
It was announced Thursday afternoon that the Premier League as well as the lower divisions of English football would continue as scheduled in front of crowds this upcoming weekend despite the fear of the spreading COVID-19 virus. This, of course, came after the postponement of the Arsenal-Manchester City league match earlier in the week and the majority of UEFA matches playing behind closed doors — including Manchester United’s 0-5 drubbing of Austrian club LASK.
Surely, now, the Premier League will announce some kind of solution to appease the recommendations of postponement of any activities that attract large crowds by world health officials.
If Manchester United is to still play its upcoming match at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, March 15, the Reds will put their 11-match unbeaten streak on the line as they try and pull a league double over their former manager, José Mourinho.
But, frankly, that all seems rather frivolous about now.