Manchester City Chief Pep Guardiola Tests Positive For COVID-19
12:27 GMT 06.01.2022 (Updated: 13:26 GMT 17.10.2022)
Sports fans are now experiencing a bad case of déjà vu – the Omicron variant, which is said to be more contagious than previous strains has started affecting sports events, with games and matches being postponed both in the United Kingdom and in other parts of the world.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has tested positive for COVID-19, the club has announced. In a statement on social media, the club said the Spaniard would miss Friday’s FA Cup game against Swindon Town.The 50-year-old is now isolating along with his assistant Juanma Lillo, several players, and staff.
The club said Guardiola's positive test brings the number of those isolating for COVID-19-related reasons to 21. Seven of them are first-team players. So far there has been no information that Friday’s game may be postponed due to the epidemiological situation at the club.
Pep Guardiola has become the latest Premier League manager to contract COVID-19. Burnley boss Sean Dyche recently fell ill, while Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp had to miss the club's game with Chelsea
after receiving a "suspected positive" test.
The Reds' Carabao Cup semifinal game against Arsenal has been postponed after there was a "severe outbreak" of COVID-19 in the club. Liverpool said it had temporarily closed their first-team training centre after assistant manager Pep Lijnders became the latest employee to test positive.
Overall, 17 top games have been postponed in England since December due to the surge of cases of the Omicron variant
of COVID-19, which is said to be more contagious than previous strains.
At the end of December, club managers met with Premier League bosses to discuss issues surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. One subject on the table was the postponement of games during the Christmas and New Year period as well as the introduction of changes, like increasing the number of substitutions during the game from three to five. Playing one semifinal game in the Carabao Cup instead of two legs was also put forth.
However, the Premier League decided to continue with the games throughout the festive season, a decision that bewildered many managers. Tottenham
boss Antonio Conte, who last year won Serie A with Inter Milan, described the meeting as a "waste of time".
"It was [like talking to] a wall and for this reason I also prefer to not go into it. If I have to be honest, it was a meeting that we tried to speak and some coaches tried to speak, to ask about solutions but I think everything was decided", Conte said.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said "nobody really takes player welfare seriously", while Pep Guardiola earlier said there is a possibility that players will go on strike to make themselves heard. The Spaniard noted that it is the only way to get Premier League bosses to listen.