Arsenal close academy after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

(Reuters) - Arsenal have closed their Hale End academy after a staff member tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The academy in east London, which is separate from Arsenal’s senior training facilities at London Colney, is used to develop players between the ages of nine and 16, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka amongst its recent graduates.

“We can confirm that a member of staff from our Hale End Academy has tested positive for COVID-19 ... and immediately left the site to self-isolate,” Arsenal said in a statement.

“As a consequence, six other members of staff are now self-isolating ... Our Hale End Academy will now be closed on Thursday for deep cleaning.

“The health and safety of everyone on all our sites is our paramount concern. No members of our men’s or women’s first team squads have been affected.”

The news comes on the same day Arsenal full back Kieran Tierney was told to self isolate for 14 days after coming into contact with Scotland team mate Stuart Armstrong, who tested positive for the virus.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel