Portsmouth players test positive for coronavirus

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Four players from English side Portsmouth have tested positive for coronavirus, Pompey have announced.

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The entire Pompey squad and staff were tested after their FA Cup last 16 defeat at home to Arsenal on March 2, as Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus 10 days later and the entire Gunners playing squad and staff were placed into self-isolation.

In a statement released by the League One club they confirmed James Bolton, Andy Cannon, Sean Raggett and Haji Mnoga have coronavirus.

“They are all self-isolating in accordance with government guidelines and will continue to follow medical advice. The club have also notified Public Health England. All players and first team staff were tested earlier in the week and we are still awaiting approximately half of the results of these tests.

“Chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘I received the news last night and immediately spoke to Kenny [Jackett] and head physio Bobby Bacic. Kenny and I then spoke to all three players. Football is not immune from this virus and I can assure you that it only really hits home when those that you know contract it. All three players were in good spirits and perfectly calm – showing mild or no symptoms – and are looking forward to overcoming it as quickly as possible.’

Bolton, Cannon and Raggett were in the squad to play against Arsenal in the FA Cup but there is no suggestion that that is when they caught the virus. The same trip have all played in Portsmouth’s two league games since their defeat against Arsenal, as they lost at Peterborough and drew with Fleetwood Town at home.

Portsmouth are the latest team to be hit by the spread of coronavirus as Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive, plus multiple players from Alaves in Spain, plus Sampdoria and Juventus in Italy have also tested positive for COVID-19.