Despite the coronavirus outbreak spreading thick and fast across Europe, the Premier League is yet to make a decision on whether the upcoming fixtures will be postponed or suspended. Manchester United legend Gary Neville has been extremely unhappy with the Premier League bosses over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the league.
It needed a PL manager to contract the virus for them to act! Embarrassing leadership from the @premierleague— Gary Neville (@GNev2) March 12, 2020
It was earlier stated that the fixtures this weekend would take place as scheduled. However, after news broke out that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had tested positive with the virus, the league finally announced that it would conduct an emergency meeting to discuss the fate of the upcoming fixtures. Gary Neville was critical of this very fact, posting 'it needed a Premier League manager to contract the virus, for the league to act'. Neville expressed his frustrations on Twitter, calling out the embarrassing leadership of the league.
With Serie A and LaLiga suspended due to the outbreak, fans and former players have been particularly critical of the Premier League's hesitance in taking immediate action. Along with Gary Neville former Spurs star, Gary Lineker was also perplexed as to why the league is delaying in making a decision.
How can it not be? They would only be delaying the inevitable and quite likely exacerbating the situation. https://t.co/NQgyLNCaHq— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 12, 2020
On Thursday, Leicester City midfielder Daniel Amartey became the first player in the Premier League to be tested positive for coronavirus. Subsequently, news broke out that Mikel Arteta had also contracted the virus, forcing the Premier League into action. The Premier League released a statement that 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 tomorrow morning regarding future fixtures'.
Since then, Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi was also confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the number to three in the Premier League coronavirus section. It is expected that the number of affected players in the Premier League will rise in the coming days with Leicester City, Chelsea and Arsenal on red-alert.
The Premier League has already postponed games this season due to COVID-19. Wednesday night's (Thursday IST) match between Manchester City and Arsenal was postponed following the news that Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis had tested positive for coronavirus. Arsenal, who faced Olympiakos in the Europa League, had an unspecified number of players put into self-isolation.
Following Mikel Arteta's news, the match between Arsenal and Brighton has also been postponed. It is believed that Chelsea's match against Aston Villa on Saturday could also be postponed.