In light of the news that broke earlier this week concerning the health of Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and his first-team squad, Brighton and Hove Albion have confirmed that today’s match against Arsenal has been postponed.
Arsenal confirmed on Thursday night that their head coach has tested positive for the coronavirus, and that their entire first-team squad are now self-isolating.
Chief executive Paul Barber commented, “First and foremost our thoughts are with Mikel Arteta and we wish him a speedy recovery.
“It’s absolutely essential the health and wellbeing of individuals takes priority and with that in mind Saturday’s match has been postponed. We apologise to all fans for any inconvenience but trust everyone will understand that we are all facing an unprecedented situation.
The Premier League announced yesterday that they are postponing all games until April 4, dependent on the state of public health at that time.
Head Coach Graham Potter looked forward to the clash later on today when we spoke to him on Thursday, but he feels the public’s health needs to take priority. “We’ve just got to do our best while we are here and lead the way in terms of how we look after ourselves.
“We just get on with it best we can, and we await to hear from the powers that be as to what we have to do.
“The news changes by the hour and I can’t control what is going to happen. All I know I have a responsibility to prepare the team as best I can until we hear anything else, and we’ll adapt.
Striker Neal Maupay shared Potter’s concerns about the outbreak. “I think we are like everyone. We are following the news and following the advice given. Health is more important than football.”
When asked if he would be disappointed to have the game cancelled, he said, “It’s not up to us. They know a lot more about the virus than we do. If they decide to stop it, we need to do as we are told.”
He added, “I think it’s important to wash your hands and not touch your face, but it’s a bit harder in football because on the pitch there is always contact.”