Chelsea ace tests positive for coronavirus as Premier League prepare to hold emergency fixtures meeting

PUBLISHED: 08:49 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:49 13 March 2020

Chelsea and England ace Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive for coronavirus Picture: Michael Sedgwick/Focus Images Ltd

Chelsea and England ace Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive for coronavirus Picture: Michael Sedgwick/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich City’s Premier League home game against Southampton could be in jepoardy after Chelsea starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi was the latest high profile Premier League figure to test positive for coronavirus - with the Premier League set for an emergency meeting on Friday morning.

Chelea released the news of a positive test in the early hours of Friday after a frantic late Thursday evening that also saw Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta diagnosed with the virus and the the Premier League respond by announcing an emergency meeting on Friday morning.

Arsenal's scheduled game against Brighton has already been postponed as the entire Gunners' first team squad enter a period of self-isolation.

Chelsea confirmed Hudson-Odoi had been in self-isolation since suffering 'mild cold' symptoms on Monday.

The official statement read: 'Chelsea men's team player Callum Hudson-Odoi had a positive test result for Coronavirus returned this evening (Thursday). Chelsea personnel who had recent close contact with the player in the men's team building will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. These will include initially the full men's team squad, coaching staff and a number of backroom staff.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been diagnosed with Covid-19 Picture: Bradley Collyer/PAArsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been diagnosed with Covid-19 Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA

'It is expected that those who did not have close contact with Callum will return to work in the coming days. In the meantime, the men's team building, one of several separate buildings at our training ground, will remain closed.

'The rest of our training facility, Stamford Bridge and our other facilities are operating as normal.

'Callum displayed symptoms similar to a mild cold on Monday morning and has not been at the training ground since then as a precaution. However, his test came in positive this evening and he will undergo a period of self-isolation. Despite testing positive for the virus, Callum is doing well and looking forward to returning to the training ground as soon as it is possible.

'We will continue to adhere to government and public health guidelines with regard to our facilities and staff and will be discussing next steps with regards to upcoming fixtures with the Premier League on Friday morning. We will provide further updates as necessary via the club's website.

'We wish Callum a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to the club soon.'

The Premier League had initially signalled fixtures would take place as planned this weekend following a Downing Street briefing led by prime minister Boris Johnson, but updated their position after news on Arteta.

A statement on their official web site read: 'In light of Arsenal's announcement tonight confirming that their first-team coach Mikel Arteta has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League will convene an emergency club meeting (Friday) morning regarding future fixtures.

'The Premier League will make no further comment until after that meeting.'

The Premier League's latest statement came just 23 minutes after Arsenal had released news of Arteta's positive test.

An Arsenal official statement read: 'Our London Colney training centre has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive COVID-19 result this evening.

'Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution.

'We expect those who did not have close contact with Mikel to return to work in the coming days. In the meantime our Colney and Hale End training centres will undergo a deep clean and our other club sites are operating as normal.'

The Arsenal press release contained a quote from Arteta who said: 'This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I'm allowed.'

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers had earlier confirmed on Thursday three members of his squad are awaiting the outcome of tests for coronavirus.

Meanwhile Saints' boss Ralph Hasenhuttl expected to face the Canaries at Carrow Road this weekend when he addressed the media before the news on Arteta and Hudson-Odoi.

'The last information I have is that the game goes ahead. I am focusing on that,' said Hasenhuttl. 'With or without supporters that is something I am sure will be assessed on a day to day basis. The latest information is it looks like we have a normal game this weekend.

'All we have to do is make sure the virus is not spreading so quickly. That is the goal. If it helps to play without supporters, or anything else, then we have to do it. This is the most important thing. Anything else isn't.'

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