Coronavirus: Everton squad in self-isolation
- A quarter of Premier League teams have now been affected by coronavirus concerns, with Everton placing their squad in self-isolation.
Everton have placed their first-team squad and coaching staff in self-isolation after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus.
The news comes as the Premier League prepares to stage an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss how to proceed with forthcoming fixtures and the ongoing season, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to compromise existing arrangements.
Carlo Ancelotti's team are scheduled to face Liverpool in a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Monday – a fixture that now appears highly unlikely to take place.
A statement issued by Everton read: "Everton Football Club can confirm that, as a precautionary measure, its entire first-team squad and coaching staff are undertaking a period of self-isolation following medical advice.
"The step has been taken after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus. The club is in regular contact with the player in question and is monitoring the well-being of all players and staff."
Additionally, Everton have closed down all club facilities, including Goodison Park, its Finch Farm training base and its headquarters at the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool city centre.
On Thursday, the Premier League publicly committed to fulfilling its fixtures this weekend in line with UK government advice that did not recommend the cancellation of sporting fixtures, although events have since escalated.
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi have both tested positive for COVID-19.
A Manchester City player, reported to be full-back Benjamin Mendy, is self-isolating as a precaution after a family member was hospitalised with symptoms of a respiratory illness.
News from Arsenal, Chelsea, City and Everton added to Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers confirming three of his players had been isolated from their team-mates after displaying mild symptoms, meaning a quarter of the clubs in England's top flight were directly affected.
Leicester are due to travel to Watford on Saturday, although Hornets boss Nigel Pearson told reporters one of his players is awaiting test results after a number of his squad were symptomatic.
"We've had players who have had symptoms of not being well," he said. "We've got one player awaiting test results on his symptoms. We are trying to be proactive and hopefully the Premier League will make a strong decision based on what is good for everybody.”Published 13 Mar 2020, 15:40 IST