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Premier League likely to be suspended due to coronavirus outbreak

A suspension of the Premier League season “of some sort” due to the coronavirus outbreak is considered likely, a source has told the PA news agency.

It follows the news that Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi have contracted the virus.

Three Leicester players are also being tested, while Everton announced on Thursday that the squad was in self-isolation after a player reported symptoms consistent with the virus.

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The Premier League is meeting at 10.30 this morning, with clubs set to be represented via videolink.

The Gunners’ trip to Brighton on Saturday was immediately postponed following the news about Arteta and a blanket suspension of activity for at least one round of matches is now likely.

The Premier League would be joining its counterparts in Italy and Spain in suspending its season.

Mikel Arteta has contracted the coronavirus

Mikel Arteta has contracted the coronavirus (John Walton/PA)

A host of sports tournaments and competitions have been put on hold due to the pandemic, including the NBA basketball league in the United States while in golf, the US PGA called off the Players Championship at Sawgrass after the first round, as well as its scheduled tournaments for the next three weeks.

The English Football League (EFL) is also meeting this morning to discuss its fixtures, with Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony revealing that one of his players is self-isolating. He has called for EFL action to cease with immediate effect.

The Government announced a move into the ‘delay’ phase of combating the virus on Thursday but have not placed any restrictions on mass gatherings. However, it now seems infection among competitors themselves will lead to sporting activity being halted.

In Scotland, gatherings will be limited to 500 people from Monday.