Tottenham v Arsenal postponed as North London derby join fixture stack | Arsenal
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Sunday’s derby in north London has been postponed after the Premier League accepted a request from Arsenal, whose team have been badly hit by injuries and a range of other problems, for the game to be called off.
Arsenal were reportedly without more than 14 first-team players for their visit to Spurs and asked for the postponement as they felt they would not be able to meet league criteria to fill a game. Clubs can apply if they don’t have 13 outfielders and a goalkeeper available and, after Arsenal announced their intention on Friday night, the postponement decision was confirmed on Saturday afternoon.
It is the 20th in a string of high-profile postponements in recent weeks that have been spurred by the coronavirus outbreak. Arsenal’s only known current Covid-19 case is Martin Ødegaard, but league rules allow other factors to come into play. the Premier League cited “Covid-19 cases, injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations” as contributing factors.
Arsenal are believed to be missing at least eight injured players and have four others representing their country in Cameroon. Granit Xhaka would also have been absent due to suspension, but that would not have been relevant in this case.
In a statement, the Premier League said: “Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and unfortunately agreed to postpone the match away from home. club against Tottenham Hotspur, which was due to be played at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday January 16.
“With Arsenal having less than the required number of players available for the game (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), the board have accepted the club’s bid. This decision is the result of a combination of Covid-19, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations All clubs can request a deferral if Covid-19 infections are a factor in their request.
“The League apologizes for any inconvenience and disruption caused to supporters who may have attended or watched the game – we are fully aware that the postponements are disappointing to clubs and fans. The League aims to provide as much clarity as possible, but unfortunately , postponements sometimes need to be made at short notice as safety is our priority.Where possible, the League will endeavor to keep supporters informed if matches become risky.
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