- Premier League games will continue as scheduled — with fans in attendance — this weekend.
- The EPL's decision comes as many prominent sports leagues across the globe — including the NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA, MLS, and more — chose to cancel their seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Shortly after the league's announcement, Arsenal announced that head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus.
- The Premier League will hold an "emergency club meeting" Friday morning to discuss the fate of future matches.
- Other European soccer leagues like La Liga, Champions League, Serie A, and Europa League postponed and canceled matches in light of safety concerns.
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This weekend's Premier League games will go on as scheduled — and with fans in attendance — despite growing fears surrounding the rapidly-expanding coronavirus pandemic.
Britain's top soccer league announced its decision to proceed as planned on Thursday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the country's Chief Medical Advisor suggested that cancelations were unnecessary.
But shortly after the league announced its decision, Arsenal announced that its head coach, Mikel Arteta, had tested positive for coronavirus. The club has closed its London Colney training center as a result of the news, and a significant portion of its staff and team will be placed under quarantine.
In light of the situation, the Premier League announced late Thurssday that it will hold an "emergency club meeting" first thing on Friday to reevaluate scheduling of upcoming matches, per Sky Sports' Ed Draper.
Earlier in the day on Thursday, three Leicester City players were forced to isolate themselves after showing systems of the illness.
Still, as of now, Arsenal's match against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium will be the league's only game impacted by the raging pandemic.
The EPL is taking a markedly different approach to the situation than most of its counterparts in professional soccer and other sports across the world. The NBA became the first major sports league to suspend its season indefinitely after two Utah Jazz players were diagnosed with the virus. The NHL, MLB, ATP, MLS, La Liga, Champions League, Serie A, and Europa League followed suit Thursday morning. Later in the day, the NCAA canceled March Madness and all remaining winter and spring championships, leaving the Premier League as one of the few major sports platforms continuing to play in light of the global health situation.
The league will host seven matches on Saturday and another two on Sunday. However, given the speed at which the coronavirus situation has been progressing throughout the week, the league may make adjustments by the time gameday arrives.
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