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Arsenal star Ozil calls on unity during coronavirus crisis: Football does not matter right now

6:12 AM EDT 3/14/20
Mesut Ozil Arsenal 2019-20
The German playmaker has urged the general public to look out for each other at this increasingly worrying time amid the Covid-19 outbreak

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has called upon football supporters to focus on the well-being of themselves and those around them during the coronavirus outbreak.

As of March 13, there were 798 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, including Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, with 10 deaths, though worldwide the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports there have been over 132,500 infections and around 5,000 deaths.

A consequence of the outbreak is that the sporting calendar for the weekend has been decimated, with events all over the globe postponed or cancelled.

Football has suffered a seriously as any other discipline, with the Premier League cancelled until the beginning of April as a minimum, while UEFA has postponed next week’s Champions League and Europa League fixtures.

Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 have all also been postponed in what has been an unprecedented turn of events across Europe's big-five leagues.

Though doubts continue to be cast over the outcome of the season, Ozil has stressed that there are more important concerns to be taken into account currently.

"Football does not matter right now. The health and well-being of everyone is far more important than everything else. Guys, take all the precautions you can - be mindful and considerate of everyone, especially those who are at high risk," the former Germany international playmaker wrote on Twitter.

"As we go through this global issue, we should not forget to say thank you to all doctors, nurses and scientists etc worldwide, who are helping to keep this virus from spreading. They are under high pressure in the upcoming weeks and deserve our respect and gratitude."

The 31-year-old has played 23 times for Arsenal this season, scoring a single goal and adding two more assists.

The Gunners face a major challenge to get into the Champions League next season, as they presently lie ninth in England’s top-flight, four points behind fifth-placed Manchester United.

Arteta’s side have already seen their hopes of silverware dwindle, suffering a shock Europa League exit at the hands of Olympiacos, though they remain in the FA Cup having defeated Portsmouth 2-0 in the fifth round earlier this month.