Tottenham ‘extremely surprised’ as furious statement released over Arsenal postponement | Football | Sport
Tottenham have slammed the Premier League’s decision to postpone their Premier League clash with Arsenal. The North London Derby, which was initially scheduled for 4:30PM on Sunday, was called off after the Gunners submitted an application to the league.
Mikel Arteta has been set back by COVID-19 cases among his squad while several others have gone to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Arsenal drew 1-1 with Liverpool on Thursday night with a couple of first-team stars absent. They requested a postponement of their upcoming fixture against Spurs just 24 hours later.
However, Spurs have now asked for more clarity from the Premier League over postponements.
The North London derby is now the 19th top-flight game to be called off in just over a month as Covid continues to cause chaos among clubs.
Spurs have pointed out that they were disqualified from the Europa Conference League after they were forced to call of their final group clash with Rennes in December.
“We regret to announce that Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal has been postponed,” a Spurs club statement read.
“This follows an application from Arsenal to the Premier League on the basis of a combination of COVID, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“We are extremely surprised that this application has been approved.
“We ourselves were disqualified from the European Conference League after a significant number of COVID cases meant we needed to reschedule a fixture and our application to move our Leicester fixture was not approved – only for it to be subsequently postponed when Leicester applied.
“The original intention of the guidance – here – was to deal with player availability directly affected by COVID cases, resulting in depleted squads that when taken together with injuries would result in the club being unable to field a team.
“We do not believe it was the intent to deal with player availability unrelated to COVID. We may now be seeing the unintended consequences of this rule.
“It is important to have clarity and consistency on the application of the rule. Yet again fans have seen their plans disrupted at unacceptably short notice.
“We shall once again send food deliveries to the local food banks to avoid unacceptable waste.
“We are sincerely sorry for our fans – some of whom will have travelled great distances.”
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