Arsenal
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  • Arsenal FC head coach Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
  • Many people at the organisation - athletes, coaches, and "a small number of people" from the club's youth academy - have likely had close contact with Arteta.
  • English Premier League matches this weekend were going ahead despite many other sporting event cancellations, but Arsenal will now be unable to compete in the near future.
  • "This is really disappointing, but I took the test after feeling poorly," Arteta said, according to the club's website.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Arsenal's head coach Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the coronavirus. The club said a "significant number of people" will have to self-isolate.

"This is really disappointing, but I took the test after feeling poorly," Arteta said, according to the club's website. "I will be at work as soon as I'm allowed."

Arsenal is currently ranked ninth in the English Premier League (EPL) and was scheduled to play Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, March 14.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many sports leagues around the world to postpone their scheduled events, from the NBA in the US to Italy's Serie A. But the EPL said it would continue with its weekend fixtures following an update from the UK government on Thursday.

Arsenal, though, will now be unable to compete in the near future.

"It is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates," a club statement said.

The club's London Colney training ground has closed, and Arteta will self-isolate.

Many people at the organization - athletes, coaches, and "a smaller number of people" from the club's youth academy - likely had close contact with Arteta, the club's statement said.

Colney and Hale End training grounds will be cleaned before the sites resume operating as normal, according to Arsenal's website.

"Mikel and the full first-team squad, players and staff, will be fully supported, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows," Raul Sanllehi, head of soccer at Arsenal, said. "Obviously Mikel's full recovery is the priority now for us all."

The official number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Britain is 590. But Patrick Vallance, the UK's chief scientific advisor, said at a press conference Thursday that "it's much more likely that we've got somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people infected at the moment."

At the same press conference, prime minister Boris Johnson said "many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time."

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