The virus is working its way through society and a number of high profile footballers are among those to have tested positive
Coronavirus Covid-19 has wrought havoc across the world and, unsurprisingly, football has not escaped the effects of the outbreak.
Leagues and competitions everywhere have been forced to postpone games, while Euro 2020 has now become Euro 2021 as European governments battle to slow the spread.
The virus does not discriminate and footballers, despite being incredibly fit athletes, are just as susceptible to getting the coronavirus as anyone else.
Indeed, a number of clubs and their players have been directly impacted.
Football Players, Managers and Owners affected by Coronavirus?
A number of individuals at clubs in the Premier League have been diagnosed as having the coronavirus, which has subsequently had an effect on others, including team-mates, coaches, staff and so on.
Just minutes after the Premier League announced that games would go ahead as planned,Arsenal head coach Mikel Artetawas confirmed to have contracted the virus.
As a result, the entire Gunners squad was quarantined and their game against Brighton was postponed.
“This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly,” Arteta said in a statement released by the club. “I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
News of Arteta testing positive came a number of weeks after Olympiacos ownerEvangelos Marinakisrevealed he had the virus after his side’s Europa League win over the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium.
However, the cases are believed to be unrelated.
Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi was confirmed to have been a positive Covid-19 case, but later revealed that he had recovered from the virus.
“Hi guys, as you may be aware I had the virus for the last couple of days, which I’ve recovered from,” Hudson-Odoi said on his social media channels.
“I’m following the health guidelines and self-isolating for the week. I hope to see everybody soon and hopefully be back on the pitch very soon. Take care.”
Thank you for all your good wishes, as I said in the video I’m feeling good and hope to see you all soon!!
The Blues’ training ground was partially closed in response to the news, while those who had close contact with the player were told to self-isolate in line with the widely observed medical advice.
Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is understood to have been forced to self-isolate when it emerged that a family member had contracted the virus.
On Friday March 13, Everton (squad) announced that their squad was in self-isolation after a player reported symptoms consistent with those of coronavirus.
As well as imposing self-isolation measures, the Toffees also closed their training facility at Finch Farm and the club headquarters in Liverpool.
However, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford denied being in self-isolation after it emerged that he had attended a charity boxing event.
Brendan Rodgers indicated that a number of Leicester City players had shown “symptoms and signs” of coronavirus, with those concerned entering a period of self-isolation.
Five Bournemouth staff members, including goalkeeper Artur Boruc, went into voluntary self-isolation after the club confirmed that they had displayed symptoms consistent with Covid-19.
Cardiff City boss Neil Harris confirmed both a player and a member of his staff are in self-isolation for precautionary measures, but club sources stated that neither tested positive for coronavirus.
Norwich-owned defender Sean Raggett, currently on loan at Portsmouth, has also tested positive alongside fellow Pompey players James Bolton and Andy Cannon.
In Serie A a number of players have tested positive for Covid-19, the most notable being Juventus defender Daniele Rugani.
“You will have read the news and that’s why I want to reassure all those who are worrying about me, I’m fine,” Rugani tweeted.
“I urge everyone to respect the rules, because this virus makes no distinctions! Let’s do it for ourselves, for our loved ones and for those around us. #grazie.”
The Italy international was confirmed as a case following Juve’s behind-closed-doors victory over Inter, prompting the Nerazzurri to cancel all competitive activities.
News of Rugani’s diagnosis was a source of concern for a number of his team-mates, with Cristiano Ronaldo opting to remain in his hometown of Madeira in an effort to avoid picking up the virus.
Blaise Matuidi became the second Juventus player to test positive for the virus, with the Serie A side stating on March 17 that he was at home self-isolating and showing no symptoms.
The France international, who received public support from Paul Pogba, issued an update a few days later saying: “I am positive, I am strong. Morale is good.”
Rumours suggested that Paulo Dybala had contracted the virus, but the Argentine denied that this was the case, posting an update while in voluntary isolation. However, it was later confirmed that he and his girlfriend had tested positive.
South of Turin in Genoa, Sampdoria striker Manolo Gabbiadini became the second player in Serie A to be confirmed as having contracted Covid-19.
Sampdoria later confirmed that Gabbiadini’s team-mates Albin Ekdal, Antonino La Gumina , Morten Thorsby , Fabio Depaoli and Bartosz Bereszynski had also tested positive, as well as club doctor Amedeo Baldari. Omar Colley was also reported to have tested positive but the defender later denied that claim on Instagram.
Fiorentina players Dusan Vlahovic, Patrick Cutrone and German Pezzella have all tested positive for Covid-19.
On March 21, it was announced that AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini and his son Daniel had tested positive.
A statement on the Rossoneri website said: “Paolo and Daniel are both well and have already completed two weeks at home without contact with others. They will now remain in quarantine until clinically recovered, as per the medical protocols outlined by the health authorities.”
On March 21, tragedy struck when former Real president Lorenzo Sanz died after contracting the virus.
Their Clasico rivals Barcelona have suspended all activity – training and so on – and told their staff to stay at home. A Barca statement said: “Given the healthcare situation and according to the recommendations of the Club’s medical staff, the first team has suspended all activity until further notice.”
Lionel Messi does not have the virus, but the Argentine did issue a statement of support to those in distress while in isolation with his family.
Messi wrote in a social media post.
“These are complicated days for everyone, We live worried about what is happening and want to help by removing ourselves from the places where those are having the worst of it, either because it directly affected them or their family and friends, or because they are working on the front line to combat it in hospitals and health centres.
“I want to send a lot of strength to all of them.”
Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay became the first La Liga player to be confirmed as Covid-19 positive, with the club revealing that five cases had been identified among first-team staff and players including former Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala.
“All of these persons are now at home, in good health and obeying self-isolation measures,” a statement from Valencia said.
Four cases of Covid-19 within the Valencia squad were confirmed on Monday March 16, though the affected individuals remained unnamed.
Espanyol confirmed on March 17 that six members of their first-team squad and staff tested positive for the virus, though all had mild symptoms.
Malaga-based club Atletico Portada Alta youth team coach Francisco Garcia died from coronavirus, having had a pre-existing health condition.
Spanish First Division club Alaves confirmed on March 18 that 15 members of the team contract Covid-19, including three footballers (who have been unnamed), seven members of staff and five workers.
Elche have confirmed that one of their players has tested positive, but Real Valldolid have taken a stand on the issue, rejecting test kits for their players and urging them to be used on those who need them.
Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe underwent testing for the virus, but results came back negative ahead of his side’s Champions League last-16 clash with Borussia Dortmund. Despite that, PSG suspended first-team training, with games across France postponed.
South Korea international Hyun-Jun Suk, who plays for Ligue 2 side Troyes, tested positive after not feeling well for a few days.
In Germany, Hannover defender Timo Hubers tested positive for coronavirus, and Paderborn defender Luca Kilian was the first Bundesliga player to contract the disease.
Kilian recovered quite quickly, however, with Paderborn’s sporting director Martin Przondziono telling SZ: “He had two days of real trouble, with fever and chills, but he’s better now.”
Frankfurt, meanwhile, revealed on March 21 that a second player had tested positive for the virus, with an update released on Twitter reading: “The results of the first series of Corona tests are in.
“Twenty three people tested negative for Covid-19 and one more player is positive. Further results will follow in the coming days.”
Dear friends, I have been tested for coronavirus and my test result is positive. Thanks to the fans, medical staff and the club for their care and attention. I will follow the treatment and hope to return to the game as soon as possible. Please everyone stay safe
— Marouane Fellaini
Ex Manchester United and Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini tested positive for the coronavirus in China.
Elsewhere, former Chelsea star John Obi Mikel walked out of Turkish club Trabzonspor over their handling of the situation, claming that the club “don’t care”.
In Switzerland, former Arsenal players Johan Djourou and Alexandre Song, while not afflicted by the coronavirus, were among nine players to be sacked by FC Sion over a contract dispute arising from the pandemic.
In Brazil, 65-year-old Flamengo boss Jorge Jesus was cleared of coronavirus after initially testing positive.
“I received the great news that my test for COVID-19 was negative,” Jesus said on Instagram. “I am happy and grateful for the affection, support and concern for my health. I continue in prayer for all those affected.”
In Mexico, Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla has tested positive for coronavirus and will remain in quarantine.