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Wolves head into media lockdown ahead of Olympiacos clash

Wolves have gone into lockdown ahead of Thursday's Europa League tie at Olympiacos, whose players and staff have been tested for coronavirus.

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Olympiacos have confirmed that all football staff tested negative yesterday after club owner Evangelos Marinakis confirmed he had contracted the virus.

The Greek side issued a statement which said: "Olympiacos FC informs that after the required medical exams to which all the members of the football staff, as well as board members and staff, were submitted, all the tests came out negative for the COVID-19 virus."

Nuno Espirito Santo and his team are due to travel to Greece on Wednesday after their request for the match to be postponed was rejected by UEFA.

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The first leg of the last-16 match will still take place behind closed doors, which is in line with the Greek government's temporary suspension of spectators attending sporting events.

Wolves have expressed their disappointment at the decision but have managed to get special dispensation from the governing body with regard to their media duties in a bid to protect players and staff.

The club will not hold a pre-match press conference in Athens and neither Nuno or the players will speak to the media after the game.

A Wolves statement explained: "The health and wellbeing of our players is paramount during these uncertain times.

"Advice from our medical team is to limit the exposure of our players and staff to large groups where possible to prevent any unnecessary risks."

Nuno and the team will fly out as scheduled on Wednesday after holding a training session at Compton Park.

Meanwhile Wednesday’s game between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium has been postponed “as a precautionary measure” due to Marinakis' infection.

Marinakis – who is also Nottingham Forest’s majority owner – met Arsenal staff and players during the February 27 Europa League tie at the Emirates Stadium.

Despite Marinakis’ diagnosis and his position at Forest, the English Football League insists there are no immediate plans to postpone any fixtures.

Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis revealed on Tuesday that he had contracted coronavirus.
Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis revealed on Tuesday that he had contracted coronavirus. (Mike Egerton/PA)

Marinakis attended Friday night’s Sky Bet Championship match against Millwall, where he reportedly met with the first-team squad.

A club statement said he was diagnosed after first showing symptoms on his return to Greece on Monday afternoon, adding he did not show any symptoms while he was in Nottingham last week.

The EFL said it was working closely with Forest to see if any steps needed to be taken following the news, but its statement confirmed matches across the three divisions would continue as normal for the time being.

An EFL spokesman said: “The League is in dialogue to fully ascertain the set of circumstances that existed when Mr Marinakis visited the club last week and in conjunction with the club will make a determination on what measures are to be taken – if any – when full details are known.

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Wolves’ clash with Olympiacos is one of a host of Europa and Champions League games due to take place without spectators.

Manchester United’s Europa League last-16 first leg at Austrian side LASK on Thursday and the second leg of Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 clash away to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, March 18 will both be played behind closed doors.

So too will the second leg of Rangers’ Europa League tie at Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday, March 19.