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Tottenham vs Arsenal postponed after Premier League accept Gunners’ request

League rules state that games must be played if 13 senior outfield players, including a goalkeeper, are available. However, Mikel Arteta has been hit since the Carabao Cup draw at Liverpool on Thursday.

Granit Xhaka was sent off at Anfield and reportedly suspended for the North London derby, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith Rowe, Calum Chambers and Bukayo Saka are also in doubt. Sead Kolasinac and Cedric Soares were due out through injury.

Along with the four players in the AFCON tournament, Martin Odegaard was expected to miss due to Covid.

A club statement confirmed on Saturday: “We are disappointed to announce that Sunday’s North London derby at Tottenham Hotspur has been postponed.

“We know how much this game means to our fans around the world, but the Premier League have taken the decision to postpone the game, as many players in our squad are currently unavailable due to Covid-19, injuries existing and recent. , in addition to the players absent with their country at the CAN.

The Premier League statement, also issued by Tottenham, added: “The league apologizes for any inconvenience and disruption caused to supporters who may have attended or watched the match – 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 have 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.

Spurs added: “Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and unfortunately agreed to postpone the North London Derby, which was due to be played at 4.30pm on Sunday, January 16.”

Arsenal F.C. via Getty Images

Some had criticized Arsenal for asking for the postponement, with the club knowing for some time that the Nations Cup was due to be held this month, before sending Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Folarin Balogun on loan in recent weeks.

Sky Sports expert Gary Neville said on Friday: “I honestly believe that all teams, not just in the Premier League but in the EFL now, should be forced to play their fixtures.

“Balogun is on loan, Maitland-Niles is on loan, Xhaka has a red card. It’s no one else’s fault. We can’t cancel the fixtures. [Fair enough] whether it was because of Covid and extraordinary circumstances where there were 10 or 15 players absent.

“But we are now talking about teams over the last few weeks where there is no doubt that they have canceled games based on their opinion that they have the best team or the best team to win a game. It has to stop.

However, Arsenal legend Ian Wright felt Neville was being somewhat dishonest with his criticism, tweeting in response: “It’s not about Arsenal or the fans. It’s not Super Sunday on Sky anymore!

After the announcement, Neville wrote, “Game over. What started as postponements due to a pandemic have now turned into clubs not having their best squad.

“The Premier League needs to stop this now, draw a line in the sand and say all games go ahead unless you have an exceptional amount of [Covid] case. It’s wrong.”


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