Alex Iwobi’s club, Everton and Bournemouth have become the latest Premier League clubs to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak as the pandemic continues to hit the world.
Iwobi is named in the Super Eagles list for their quick-double 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCONS) qualifying fixture against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone this month. All invited players are to report in the Delta State capital on Monday, 23rd March.
On Friday morning, Everton announced that they have put their entire first-team squad into isolation after one player reported symptoms ‘consistent with coronavirus’.
The news comes just three days before they were scheduled to play Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, but that match – and all others in the Premier League – have been cancelled on Friday morning.
“Everton Football Club can confirm that, as a precautionary measure, its entire first-team squad and coaching staff are undertaking a period of self-isolation following medical advice.
“The step has been taken after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus. The Club is in regular contact with the player in question and is monitoring the wellbeing of all players and staff.
“The health, welfare and safety of all Everton players, staff and stakeholders is the Club’s absolute priority. Therefore, the Club has taken the decision to close down all Everton workplaces including USM Finch Farm, Goodison Park and its headquarters at the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool City Centre.
“The Club’s retail store at Goodison Park will also close but its Liverpool ONE store is unaffected and will remain open,” the club said in a statement.
The Toffees are the third Premier League club to fully self-isolate their first-team following Arsenal and Chelsea, while Leicester, Manchester City, Newcastle and Watford all have members of the squad in self-isolation.
West Ham also announced on Friday morning that all members of playing and coaching staff who came into contact with Arsenal at their game last week are now self-isolating.
Shortly after Everton’s statement, Bournemouth announced that five of their employees, including goalkeeper Artur Boruc, were self-isolating too having displayed symptoms consistent with the virus.
The other four are first-team members of manager Eddie Howe’s staff.
A statement from the club said: ‘Goalkeeper Artur Boruc, along with four first-team members of staff, are self-isolating in line with Government and Public Health guidelines. This is a precautionary measure as, at this stage, none have tested positive for coronavirus.
“The club continues to monitor the situation closely and to take suitable measures to ensure the wellbeing of its employees and supporters. Further updates will be provided as necessary via the club’s website and social media channels,” a statement by the club read.