Vangelis Marinakis diagnosed with coronavirus with Olympiacos matches to be played behind closed doors

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Greek shipowner and owner of Olympiacos Football Club, Vangelis Marinakis, has contracted the rapidly-spreading COVID-19 virus, he communicated on Tuesday through his Facebook account.

“The new virus has ‘visited’ me and I have been forced to inform the public. I feel good because I am taking the necessary measures and following all the medical advice. I strongly advise all my fellow citizens to do the same. I wish everyone a prompt recovery, “said Marinakis.

Marinakis’ diagnosis adds to the growing coronavirus fears in Greek sport, with the upcoming UEFA Europa League match between Olympiacos and Wolves match to be played behind doors in fear of spreading the virus.

Read More: Public barred from 2020 Olympic flame lighting ceremony in Greece

Greece has also announced the cancellation of all events with more than 1,000 participants, including the highly anticipated half marathon in Athens scheduled for March 22.

The decision to cancel the half-marathon was adopted by the municipality of Athens and the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS) for precautionary reasons.

The lighting of the Olympic torch will also be held this Thursday without a public audience.

Greece’s Olympic Committee said spectators would be excluded from both the dress rehearsal at the ancient site on Wednesday and the widely broadcast ceremony on Thursday.

“The lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame will be done without the presence of spectators and only 100 invited and accredited guests,” the Greek Olympic Committee said in a statement.

Coronavirus cases in Greece have hit 89, with thankfully no deaths so far, yet with one person in critical condition.

Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte is urging people to stay at home. Photo: Sky News

Greece’s neighbour, Italy, has been hit with Europes worst infection and death rate of the COVID-19 virus. Deaths in Italy have reached 463, an increase of almost 100 in a 24-hour period, and more than 9,000 confirmed infections in just over two weeks.

All sports events in Italy, including Italian football’s Serie A competition, were suspended until further notice. 

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