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Millwall top brass in virus lockdown

Millwall’s board are in self-isolation after they came into contact with Nottingham Forest’s owner last Friday night and were being tested for coronavirus on Wednesday.

Steve Kavanagh and several senior club representatives were quarantined after being at the City Ground last week for the Lions’ 3-0 win over Forest.

Evangelos Marinakis, who also owns Greek club Olympiakos, confirmed on Tuesday he had contracted the virus.

Marinakis was also in contact with Forest’s squad and images emerged on social media of him posing for selfies with fans.

Forest’s players were tested on Tuesday, with results coming back negative.

Any positive results would have put not just Millwall’s scheduled Championship clash against Derby County at The Den this Saturday into doubt, but the entire weekend’s second-tier schedule. Forest are due to travel to Sheffield Wednesday.

Apart from the board, staff at The Den were at work yesterday when the News called. The squad trained as normal at Calmont Road, though there were no handshakes among squad members or with the media in various engagements on Tuesday.

The results of the tests for coronavirus for the board are expected, the News will update readers.

Millwall are putting in place extra measures at The Den this weekend, including sanitising facilities at entry and exit points around the stadium.

Shortly after the news about Marinakis broke on Tuesday, Millwall said in a statement they were “aware of the news and are seeking appropriate medical advice and guidance. All necessary precautions are already being taken.”

The club provided a further update on Tuesday afternoon: “Millwall can confirm that senior club representatives who came into contact with Mr Marinakis last Friday have all begun a period of self-isolation, as per government advice.

“This is purely a precautionary measure and no individual has displayed any symptoms.

“The club will continue to follow all necessary guidance from the appropriate bodies.”

Forest also released a statement that said: “Nottingham Forest can confirm that owner Evangelos Marinakis has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Mr 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.”

Football fixtures and sports events across Europe have been postponed or played behind closed doors.

Manchester City’s scheduled Premier League fixture against Arsenal on Wednesday was called off. Marinakis was at Emirates Stadium in February when Olympiakos beat Arsenal in the Europa League.

It was confirmed on Monday that Wolves’ Europa League fixture against Olympiakos at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium on Thursday was to be played behind closed doors over fears of the risk of the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile in a statement on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “it’s absolutely critical in managing the spread of this virus that we take the right decisions at the right time, based on the latest and best evidence. So we must not do things which have no or limited medical benefit, nor things which could turn out to be counterproductive.”


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