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[BREAKING] Coronavirus: Arsenal Players Quarantined, EPL Game Postponed

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Arsenal’s game at Manchester City was postponed on Wednesday after players from the London club were put into quarantine, making it the first Premier League fixture to be called off because of the new coronavirus.

Arsenal said players and four staff had been isolated at their homes after coming into contact with the owner of Greek club Olympiakos, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

“We are strictly following the government guidelines which recommend that anyone coming into close contact with someone with the virus should self-isolate at home for 14 days from the last time they had contact,” an Arsenal statement said.

“As a result, the players are unavailable for tonight’s (Wednesday’s) match against Manchester City and the Premier League has decided the game should be postponed.”

The first postponement in the Premier League, which has a worldwide following of billions of TV viewers, follows widespread disruption to football and other sports across the globe.

Arsenal were knocked out of the Europa League by Olympiakos in late February. Vangelis Marinakis, the owner of the Greek club and England’s Nottingham Forest, announced on Tuesday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

But Arsenal said the players and staff, who met Marinakis after the game at the Emirates Stadium, will return to work on Friday ahead of Saturday’s trip to Brighton.

“The medical advice we have received puts the risk of them developing COVID-19 at extremely low,” it added.

The Premier League called the move a “precautionary measure” and said there were no plans to postpone any other games.

Football’s Serie A and all other sports have been put on hold in Italy, while the top two divisions in Spain and France will be played in empty stadiums for at least the next two weeks.

UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League have also been both forced to arrange matches behind closed doors as the epidemic spreads.

Olympiakos host Wolverhampton Wanderers in Athens this week in the Europa League, in one of the last-16 games that will be played in front of an empty stadium.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has joined a number of managers, including Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, in voicing disquiet at being asked to play without fans.

“If we have to go we will. But we don’t agree — we’re not happy to go,” he told Sky Sports.

“Behind closed doors doesn’t make sense,” he added. “We’re pretending to live a normal life when things aren’t normal.”

Wednesday’s postponement could also frustrate Premier League leaders Liverpool, as a Manchester City defeat would have taken them to the brink of their first top-flight title in 30 years.

 

AFP

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BREAKING: Lagos Discharges Five More Coronavirus Patients

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The Lagos state government has discharged five more coronavirus patients.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, broke the news via Twitter on Sunday.

“Dear Lagosians, yesterday I announced the discharge of one more patient from our Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba. Today, I am happy to inform you that five more patients comprising two males and three females including a 10-year-old girl have tested negative twice to #COVID-19,” he tweeted.

“Although there is a strong indication that the State is winning the battle against COVID-19, it is imperative that we remain steadfast to curtail the spread. I strongly advise that we continue to observe #Social Distancing. Let us #StayHomeStaySafe to #SaveLives

“I want to also use this opportunity to advise Lagosians against stigmatizing the discharged patients. We need to do all we can to support them to get over the experience as soon as possible.

“Once again, I wish to thank our frontline health workers, members of the Lagos State Health Family and the Emergency Operation Centre for all their hard work. You all have been nothing short of amazing.”

A total of 29 COVID-19 patients have been discharged in the state which 115 of the 224 confirmed cases in Nigeria. The state has also recorded two deaths from the disease.

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Ighalo Snubs Chinese Team Shenhua’s £400,000 Offer, Wants Man United Stay

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Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has made clear he wants to stay with Manchester United after the completion of his loan in the summer.

Ighalo’s future has been the subject of much speculation since the Nigerian’s impressive performances after signing from Shanghai Shenhua on deadline day in the January transfer window.

The 30-year-old has scored four goals and provided one assist in eight appearances and United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has previously opened up about his admiration for Ighalo on a number of occasions.

United will need to pay £15million to make Ighalo’s deal a permanent one, but the former Watford forward’s parent club have tabled a monster £400,000 per-week contract to keep him in the Chinese Super League when his temporary stay ends.

And Ighalo has intensified rumours that United will payout to keep him beyond this summer.

When asked by a fan during a Twitter Q&A if he would like to stay with the Red Devils if he was offered a contract extension, Ighalo had a simple reply. “Of course.”

The Nigeria international has become a fan favorite in just over two months with his boyhood club and Solskjaer shares supporters’ hopes that he will stay at Old Trafford beyond the end of his loan deal.

“It’s a loan, but when you’re in the door and if you impress it gives you a chance,” Solskjaer said in March. “That’s exactly the same for everyone who signs if it’s permanent or it’s a loan.

“If you impress as a player, if you impress as a person, if you can help this group improve, then, of course, there’s a chance that we’ll look at extending things.”

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Our Food Program For The Poor, Aged Citizens Was Sabotaged; We’ll Fine-Tune Modalities — Sanwo-Olu Assures Lagosians

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Barely five days after restriction of movement in Lagos State commenced, the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that the palliative programme designed to assist indigent and aged has been sabotaged by some residents in the state.

Sanwo-Olu explained that the programme which started on a positive note was later hijacked by some residents at the detriment of 200,000 specified beneficiaries, sabotaging the benefits that should have gone to the indigents and aged.

The Governor, who disclosed this on Saturday while addressing pressmen on the progress made by the state in containing coronavirus since the disease broke out in Lagos, did not disclose the perpetrators’ identity.

He further hinted that his team had gone back to re-strategise with the aim to develop a superior method of distribution during the lockdown.

“My dear Lagosians, you will recall that when we began this battle, I promised you that the vulnerable and indigent segment of our society would not be abandoned or left behind. It was in this vein, that I approved a Welfare Program under which 200,000 households were targeted in the first phase, for the distribution of food items and other essential items.

“While the Program has since begun to make a positive difference in the lives of many of the intended beneficiaries, I must also acknowledge that there have been hitches and snags in some aspects of the implementation.

“It is not as though, we never envisaged teething problems along the way, but I must tell you that our major focus was to roll out without delay and fine-tune the modalities as we continued with program expansion.

“What we, however, did not reckon with, was the extent to which some people would go to deliberately undermine and sabotage a program intended to bring succor to the poorest among us. This kind of malicious behavior is unacceptable, and we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all the culprits are identified and appropriately punished.

“I must assure you that we have since returned to the drawing board for a more superior strategy to ensure that this laudable program is not compromised by the sheer irresponsibility of a few and that the full palliative impact is realized across the State”

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