Premier League Blows North London Derby Due to ‘Covid, Injuries and Afcon’



Arsenal’s request to postpone their match against Tottenham on Sunday has been successful after the Premier League ruled that Mikel Arteta did not have sufficient first-team players available for the match.

The North London derby was scheduled to take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, but it has become the 20th top match to be canceled this season instead.

A Premier League statement issued 26 hours before the match was scheduled for kick-off read: “As Arsenal had fewer than the required number of players available for the match (13 outfielders and a goalkeeper), the board accepted the club’s application.

“The decision is the result of a combination of Covid-19, existing and recent injuries and players on international service at the Africa Cup of Nations. All clubs can apply for postponement if Covid-19 infections are a factor in their request.

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“The league apologizes for the inconvenience and disruption to supporters who would have watched or seen the match – we are fully aware that postponements are disappointing clubs and fans.”

Mikel Arteta had only 12 outfield first-team players available for the match after a number of players, including Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney, were hit by blows and Granit Xhaka was sent off during Thursday’s 0-0 match against Liverpool at Anfield.

The Gunners also have four players out at the Africa Cup of Nations – Thomas Partey (Ghana), Mohamed Elneny (Egypt), Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast) and Pierre-Emerick-Aubameyang, while Martin Odegaard previously tested positive for Covid-19. week.

But experts and rival fans have been quick to point out that Arsenal loaned out two first-team players – Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who joined Roma, and Folarin Balogun, who moved to Middlesbrough – last week.

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