Arsenal in contact with AC Milan over coronavirus precautions amid outbreak

Arsenal have asked AC Milan for advice on dealing with the coronavirus amid escalating fears that there could be significant outbreak in London.

The Premier League could conceivably be forced to to play fixtures behind closed doors or postpone them until a later date if the situation continues to worsen.

According to The Athletic, Arsenal’s executive team was in contact with AC Milan last week to learn what action they have taken in case the situation escalates in the UK.

The city of Milan is a designated “yellow zone”, meaning sporting events and other public gatherings have been cancelled, school is out, cinemas and museums are closed and religious people can’t go to prayers until after March 8 when the status will be reviewed.

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AC Milan have closed the club’s museum, sent kids home from the academy and called a halt to construction work at the training ground.

“We have to be realistic about the fact that there’s going to be a case in a professional league at some point,” one club official tells The Athletic, “and then it’s going to be very interesting to see what will happen.”

Ludogorets took no chances when visiting Milan for the second leg of their Europa League tie last week.

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They disembarked their plane wearing in masks and kept them on even for the walk-around at the Giuseppe Meazza.

Arsenal asked UEFA about protocol when it was announced an Italian refereeing team would be in charge of their Europa League second leg against Olympiakos at the Emirates Stadium last week.

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Davide Massa’s assistants Filippo Meli and Alberto Tegoni are from Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna, the regions with the biggest outbreaks of COVID-19 in Italy, which raised questions at Arsenal about handshakes and spitting on the pitch.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has said there is no need to panic.

"Let's try to be optimistic," he said. "Let's not think about dark scenarios."

The coronavirus, which originated in China, has spread to more than 60 countries and claimed more than 3,000 lives. There have been upwards of 39 cases in the UK so far.

  • Europa League
  • Premier League
  • Arsenal FC
  • AC Milan FC
  • Coronavirus

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