Premier League explain controversial north London derby postponement between Spurs and Arsenal
The Premier League have used ‘Covid-19’ and ‘international duty’ as their reason to grant Arsenal their request to postpone the north London derby between Arsenal and Spurs.
The Gunners confirmed on Friday evening that they had lodged a request with the governing body of the competition for the match to be rescheduled.
Arsenal believed they had a reasonable reason to request a postponement with injuries, Africa Cup of Nations and positive Covid-19 cases having hit Mikel Arteta ’s squad.
A club statement read: “We can confirm we have made an application to the Premier League for the postponement of Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.
Sunday’s North London Derby clash at the Tottenham Hotspur has been postponed after Arsenal’s request. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
“We have reluctantly taken this step but we have many players currently unavailable across our squad as a result of Covid, injuries and players away with their countries at AFCON.”
Following a meeting of the Premier League board, the game which – was set to be played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – has now been postponed.
The London derby is the second match this weekend to have been called off, following Burnley’s home match with Leicester City.
football.london’s understands that Tottenham staff and players were told of the decision by the Premier League to grant Arsenal’s request, shortly before the league itself clarified their reasons for the decision.
Their statement read: ‘Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and regrettably agreed to postpone the club’s away fixture against Tottenham Hotspur, due to be played at 4:30pm on Sunday 16 January.
‘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. The decision is a result of a combination of COVID-19, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations. All clubs are able to apply for a postponement if COVID-19 infections are a factor in their request.