World Sports News in Brief

Premier League clubs to meet after Arsenal manager Arteta tests positive

Friday, 2020-03-13 08:37:24
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Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v West Ham United - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - March 7, 2020 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the coronavirus, the club said on Thursday, prompting the Premier League to announce an emergency meeting on Friday.

Arsenal’s first-team squad are set to self-isolate as a result of Arteta’s status and the club’s Hale End training centre has been temporarily closed. The Premier League had issued a statement earlier on Thursday saying that “all Premier League matches will go ahead as scheduled this weekend” but they are facing pressure to suspend the season.

* Japan is on track to hold the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as planned, top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said on Friday, after US President Donald Trump suggested a possible delay of a year.

* The Australian Formula One Grand Prix was cancelled on Friday due to worries about the coronavirus outbreak, after a McLaren team member tested positive before the first practice session was scheduled to get underway at Albert Park.

* The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) said on Thursday that upcoming events in Mexico and Colombia will not be held because of international border closures and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak. The 125K series hardcourt tournament in Guadalajara was scheduled for next week while the claycourt event in Bogota, which falls in the WTA's international category, was set to start on April 6.

* A Manchester City player is in self-isolation after a family member was taken to hospital with symptoms of a respiratory illness, the Premier League champions said on Thursday. A City statement said the family member had undergone tests at hospital, including for the coronavirus, and that the player would continue to self-isolate until the results were known. The club did not say which player was self-isolating.

* The world soccer governing body FIFA has said it will postpone South American qualifying matches for the 2022 Qatar World Cup after a request from the region's football federation amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus. FIFA said in a letter to the South American Football Confederation, which the federation tweeted, that it would seek to reschedule the matches due to take place between March 23 and 31.

* Manchester United took a big step towards the Europa League quarter-finals by thrashing Austrian side LASK Linz 5-0 on Thursday in their last 16 first-leg tie at an empty Linzer Stadium due to the coronavirus pandemic. Three other fixtures were also played behind closed doors, including Wolverhampton Wanderers' 1-1 draw at 10-man Olympiakos.

* Holders Spain were drawn against Russia and Ecuador when the six groups for this year's Davis Cup Finals to be held in Madrid's La Caja Magica were announced on Thursday. Russia were also in Spain's group in the inaugural version of the revamped event featuring 18 nations last November, reaching the semi-finals where they lost to Canada.

* Manchester City's Champions League last-16, second-leg tie with Real Madrid and Juventus' match against Olympique Lyonnais next week have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, European soccer's governing body UEFA said on Thursday. Real said earlier on Thursday that it had sent all of the members of its soccer and basketball teams home into quarantine after one of the sports club's basketball players tested positive for the coronavirus. Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, leading the Italian club to quarantine their entire squad.

* US Major League Soccer said on Thursday it was suspending its season for 30 days due to the coronavirus outbreak, as professional sports leagues across the globe implemented measures in response to the pandemic.

* ATP suspended its professional men’s tennis tour for six weeks on Thursday, citing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, which has upended major sporting events across the globe. The announcement came moments after Miami-Dade County said it would suspend the Miami Open and on the heels of Sunday’s last-minute cancellation of the Indian Wells tournament in Southern California due to similar concerns.

* Several Leicester City players have been kept away from the squad as a precaution after showing symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, manager Brendan Rodgers said on Thursday.

* Belgium's football association has ordered this weekend's soccer matches to be played without fans and postponed the final of the Belgian Cup as the coronavirus takes hold in the country. The order, which will also lead to the cancellation of all youth and amateur matches, will run until the end of March.

* Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive for the coronavirus and all first-team players and coaching staff will now self-isolate, the Premier League club said.

* The Players championship golf tournament in Florida has been cancelled after the first round due to coronavirus concerns, the PGA Tour said late on Thursday. The next three events have also been scrapped.

Reuters