The US state is seeing a massive increase in new cases, forcing both clubs to abandon their preseason plans at the last minute
Inter have joined Arsenal in withdrawing from the Florida Cup over concerns over the current state of the coronavirus pandemic.
The two teams were scheduled to face each other in the preseason tournament in the United States on July 25 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, but members of the Gunners’ travel party have tested positive for Covid-19 and the Nerazzurri are now out of competition as a precaution.
Neither team will cross the Atlantic Ocean and will have to seek new friendly opposition before the next 2021-22 campaign.
What was said?
“FC Internazionale Milano announces that they will not travel to the United States for the Florida Cup due to the current risks associated with international travel due to the spread of the pandemic, risks which have already pushed Arsenal FC to withdraw from participation “, the Nerazzurri reported in a statement posted on their official website on Wednesday .
“As a result of a small number of positive Covid tests among the group scheduled to travel to America tomorrow, we were unfortunately forced to withdraw from the Florida Cup,” the club wrote in a statement Tuesday evening, “said the Gunners’ press release.
“This difficult decision is based on ensuring the health and well-being of our players and staff.
“We fully understand how disappointing it is to our American fans who have been eagerly awaiting us to compete in the Florida Cup as part of our pre-season preparation.
“Our apologies also go to the organizers of the Florida Cup who did a fantastic job in the preparations and to our partners who have organized events around our participation in the competition.
“We are happy to say that staff members are currently free of symptoms of Covid. They are now in self-isolation at home.”
The bigger picture
The move by Inter and Arsenal comes amid a significant increase in cases in the United States, with Florida being one of the worst-hit regions.
Driven by the Delta variant of Covid, the state reported more than 45,000 positives in the week ending July 15, double the number in the previous seven days.
That number means Florida has the most infections nationwide, with about one in five new cases originating in the state.