Soccer

Soccer

Wednesday's Manchester City-Arsenal match at Etihad Stadium has been postponed "as a precautionary measure on medical advice" after Arsenal personnel came in contact with Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who tested positive for the coronavirus, Manchester City said in a statement. 

"Manchester City FC wishes Mr. Marinakis a speedy recovery, and further information will follow in the coming days about rescheduled dates, but supporters are advised not to travel to Etihad Stadium for this fixture," the statement read. 

The postponed match is England's first due to the spread of the coronavirus, which the World Health Organization has deemed COVID-19. Marinakis, who also owns Championship side Nottingham Forest, posted on his Instagram on Tuesday that the virus "visited" him and he is following doctors' instructions. 

Manchester City's move comes a day after manager Pep Guardiola told reporters he would prefer postponing fixtures rather than playing in empty stadiums. Spain currently is playing matches without fans, while Italy -- amid the coronavirus' widest outbreak in Europe so far -- has indefinitely postponed all sporting events. 

"I would not love to play matches in the Premier League or Champions League or the cups without the people," Guardiola said Tuesday. "But we are going to follow the instructions of the governments. Everybody around the world is involved in that and we just follow what we have to do and follow the instructions."

 

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UEFA rejected Wolverhampton Wanderers' request to postpone their Europa League Round of 16 match at Olympiakos on Thursday. Wolves will travel to Greece on Wednesday, playing in front of an empty stadium after the Greek government barred spectators from sporting events for two weeks last Sunday. Manchester United will play Austrian club LASK behind closed doors Thursday as well. 

The United Kingdom currently has 373 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to NBC News reporting, the WHO, state government leaders and health officials. Six people have died in the UK.