How long until Coronavirus disrupts Arsenal games?

It certainly looks like the coronavirus (Covid-19) is spreading rapidly, with Italy being the worst country affected in Europe, with 79 deaths so far. This has led to many Serie A games being abandoned or played in empty stadiums. Switzerland also postponed every game in the Super League last weekend.

In England, it is starting to gather pace, and although we’ve only had 53 confirmed cases the numbers are rising daily, with most numbers located in London and the South East of England.

Mikel Arteta has already said that he is expecting there to be some disruption, and we saw on Monday that many Arsenal players refused to shake hands with the Portsmouth team and preferred to use fist bumps. The Arsenal boss already thinks that we play too many games, and he reflected: “It’s very condensed and if any event happens that is not considered, like for example the coronavirus, then it will be even more complicated.”

Brighton have had 6 confirmed cases so far, the highest in the country, and Sky is reporting that they have implemented a series of restrictions at the club. Last night the club detailed how they are advising players and staff to:

Postpone all player appearances across both men’s and women’s squads.

Restrict players posing for selfies and signing autographs pre-match and post-match at the stadium.

Restrict “direct physical contact, such as handshakes, hugging, hi-fives”.

Avoid non-essential visitors or meetings at stadium and training ground, encouraging use of Skype.

I know that football isn’t the most important thing in the world, and if our games have to be cancelled to safeguard lives then so be it, but if it does continue spreading as fast as it is, then surely we need to worry about continuing with public events shortly if it is to be contained.

I wonder if Liverpool fans are worrying that the season may get cancelled and they won’t get their title, after losing their unbeaten record and the chance of the treble gone after last night’s defeat at Chelsea. But that seems unlikely. The Premier League have said they will suspend all matches if the government imposes a blanket ban on mass gathering for less than two weeks.

If there is a ban for a month or more, then they have decided that the games will be played behind closed doors but hopefully televised.

Do you think that fans may just voluntarily refuse to go to games to try and avoid any contact with the virus?

10 Comments

  1. GB says:

    Now 80 + cases here in UK.
    Games could be postponed soon in my opinion.

  2. jon fox says:

    I think it certain or as near as certain anyway, that most, even all, games in all large sports comps , not merely football either, will be either cancelled or played behind closed doors. Even closed doors is easier said than done , as it still entails many folk meeting . This virus will massively disrupt the whole world and our lives and our economy will be massively changed. Effectively, I believe our Prem season is almost over already. Many folk will self isolate and at my indoor bowls club our members, all senior in age, are now , already, no longer shaking hands as they would normally do after games.

    When health and societys health at large is really at risk, no measure is too great and we will have no choice other than to comply. Whether or not we like it, is irrelevant. It is for the greater good.

  3. Tas says:

    This virus is the Messi of viruses tricky little bas74rd, atm it’s a bit like how long is a peace of string that’s how long it will interrupt our lives no one knows, if we had to guess then it would have to me between ten months to eighteen moths before a vaccine is developed until then every thing will be locked down or played to empty stadiums, thank god we can watch it on tv

  4. S says:

    Playing games behind closed doors is the only way to complete the league season with disruption kept to a minimum, sure it’ll suck for the clubs that they won’t have fans at their grounds but with all the TV money they’re getting, they can just offer the matches on a live stream. Nobody wants to pay for a match with zero atmosphere so provide it for free 😉
    The only way they’ll postpone is if the squad gets struck with coronavirus

  5. Diogenes says:

    Overhyped.

    In Western Africa millions die every year from malaria yet games still go on despite the chance of dying from a mosquito bite being more than hundred times bigger than the Coronavirus.

    Let football continue normally. And let pussies who have been privileged enough to be afraid of death stay at home where they belong.
    Nothing going to keep me from attending as I’m not afraid of dying.

    1. GB says:

      Good luck with getting into the Emirates if the gates are closed!

      1. A J says:

        Will be there on Saturday.

        Adopting a carry on as usual approach whilst applying comment sense, unless SPECIFIC advice received (i.e. not scare mongering / over reaction)

        Or of course the @GB scenario above kicks in !

        1. A J says:

          “Comment sense”

          “COMMON sense”

          Losing me faculties anyway !!!!!!

    2. RSH says:

      i mean, im not disagreeing that this whole thing is a bit of a media exaggeration, and even WHO acting like it’s the apocalypse has been eye-rolling. But malaria at least has a vaccine and treatment. This strain of Coronavirus does not. And i dont know your age, but if you are older and catch this, it can be very deadly. That said, flu is still a larger killer and concern in most countries right now than this.

  6. Glorious says:

    This is threat to the entire world, why are we having the days of Adolf Hitler. I guess men are wicked but God is supreme, the vaccine will be fully discovered in no time because delay could be catastrophic, my suggestion is for our scientists to look in the direction of the vaccine that cure SARS, this convid 19 is similar. The Almighty God will grant the world, the breakthrough needed as regards the eradication of this deadly virus called CORONAL. In the mean time, TV only could be employed for our lovely sport in order to stop the spread of this deadly epidemic disease.

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