Fans React Fiercely To North London Derby Postponement Due To One Arsenal Covid Case
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Arsenal's north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday has been postponed because their squad has been depleted by COVID-19 infections, injuries and players away at the Africa Cup of Nations, the Premier League said on Saturday.
Arsenal had asked the league on Friday to delay the derby - the 21st match to be called off this season.
Our match against Tottenham on Sunday, January 16 has been postponed. #TOTARS— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 15, 2022
Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and regrettably agreed to postpone the North London Derby, due to be played at 4:30pm on Sunday 16 January.Full PL statement ⤵️
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 15, 2022
"With Arsenal having fewer than the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), the Board accepted the club's application (for a postponement)," the Premier League said in a statement.
Arsenal's Granit Xhaka was ruled out of Sunday's match after picking up a red card in Thursday's 0-0 draw at Liverpool in the League Cup semi-final first leg, while Cedric Soares, Bukayo Saka and Calum Chambers all sustained injuries.
Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are on international duty in Africa, while Norwegian Martin Odegaard has tested positive for COVID-19.
Arsenal are fifth on 35 points after 20 matches, two points above sixth-placed rivals Tottenham, who have two games in hand.
Reaction To Postponement
Arsenal’s circumstances might technically fit the new postponement criteria, but morally it is a scandal that a team can duck out of a game with 24 hours notice and one case of covid. Shows complete contempt for fans and opponents.— Jack Pitt-Brooke (@JackPittBrooke) January 15, 2022
Spurs get kicked out of Europe for having 10 Covid casesArsenal get games postponed for having 1 Covid case + loaning out 2 players after players left for AFCON
Cheers premier league we will just smash them in March pic.twitter.com/YlzRA3laW7
— Dilly (@COYSonny7) January 15, 2022
Arsenal have 1 COVID case, same as Tottenham.Arsenal have 3 or 4 main injuries, same as Tottenham.
Arsenal just simply didn't want to play us. It's not our fault they loaned out two players during a busy January schedule & AFCON. This is an absolute joke! ♂️
— The Spurs Web ⚪️ (@thespursweb) January 15, 2022
"I honestly believe that all teams must be made to play their fixtures""We're talking about teams calling games off based on if they think they have their best squad... it's got to stop"@GNev2 and @Carra23 share their thoughts on recent postponements pic.twitter.com/6qBsmLOjyM
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 14, 2022
Absolute joke. Premier League have taken COVID postponements and allowed it now to be used for Suspensions and injury.— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) January 15, 2022
Again, this is not just an Arsenal specific point but it feels incredibly odd and an abuse of rules to have AFCON and injuries factoring into postponements alongside 1 Covid case.Never the case last season or before. Integrity of the competition is a bit of a joke. https://t.co/N915fXyQ0P
— Leanne Prescott (@_lfcleanne) January 15, 2022
Absolutely staggered the NLD has been postponed when Arsenal have 1 Covid case in the same week they sent 2 players out on loan. Does this set a worrying precedent for games going forward in the league? #NLD— Adam Smithy (@AdamJSmithy) January 15, 2022
….whilst many will say AFCON, suspensions etc shouldn’t count, PL have effectively set a precedent when they cancelled Leicester game citing AFCONIt is bizarre though that club with apparently 1 Covid case, which loaned out 2 players this week, can have a game postponed
— Rob Draper (@draper_rob) January 15, 2022
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Heinrich and Helen Popper)