Nottingham Forest owner has coronavirus, players may face self-isolation

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Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis has announced he has been diagnosed with coronavirus and this could have huge implications on the English Championship club.

Marinakis, 52, was at Forest’s second-tier game against Millwall on Friday and is said to have met several first team players. Government advice in the UK is that anybody who comes into contact with someone who has coronavirus should spend at least two weeks in self-isolation as symptoms could take five days to surface.

The former European champions and the English Football League are in discussions about the best way to proceed as their players and coaching staff all came into contact with Marinakis. The club released the following statement.

“Mr [Evangelos] Marinakis was diagnosed after showing the first symptoms on his return to Greece yesterday afternoon. During his short stay in Nottingham last week he did not show any symptoms of the virus. The club are seeking advice from medical professionals and the relevant governing bodies to ensure the correct measures are taken. Until this time the club will be making no further comment.”

Forest, who are pushing for promotion to the Premier League and currently sit in fifth place in the Championship table, play against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, Huddersfield next Wednesday and then Bristol City on Mar. 22 before the international break.

Marinakis, who also owns Greek giants Olympiakos, released the following statement on his Instagram account.

“The recent virus has ‘visited’ me and I felt obliged to let the public know. I feel good as I take all the necessary measures and I discipline to the doctors’ instructions. I strongly advice all my fellow citizens to do the same. I wish all a quick recovery.”

With games in Serie A postponed, matches in La Liga to be played in empty stadiums until early April and crowds in France limited to 1,000 per Ligue 1 games and multiple Champions League and Europa League games impacted by being played behind-closed-doors, it seems only a matter of time before leagues across the world follow suit.