Arsenal record at least one more positive Covid-19 test after north London derby at Tottenham postponed

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Arsenal’s request to postpone the north London derby at Tottenham was granted  (Getty Images)
Arsenal’s request to postpone the north London derby at Tottenham was granted (Getty Images)

At least one more Arsenal player has tested positive for Covid-19.

Standard Sport understands that the Gunners have received at least one more positive following another round of testing conducted on registered players on Saturday.

However, it is also understood that latest positive and round of testing was not a factor in the Premier League’s decision to grant Arsenal’s request to postpone Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham.

Arsenal confirmed on Friday that they had asked for the game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to be called off due to their limited squad numbers being depleted even further during Thursday’s goalless draw at Liverpool in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.

Martin Odegaard is isolating due to Covid-19, while Bukayo Saka and Cedric Soares picked up knocks at Anfield and Granit Xhaka was sent off in the first half as a makeshift team battled to keep the last-four tie alive.

The likes of Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith Rowe, Calum Chambers and Sead Kolasinac have also been sidelined through injury of late, while Nicolas Pepe, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are all away at the Africa Cup of Nations, along with exiled former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Premier League announced on Saturday afternoon that their board had “regrettably agreed” to postpone the north London derby after accepting that Arsenal had “fewer than the required number of players available for the match”.

Current top-flight rules stipulate that clubs must have 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper available to play, with decisions over postponements made on a case-by-case basis.

However, Arsenal have faced a backlash over the postponement, having recently sanctioned the loan exits of midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles and striker Folarin Balogun to Roma and Middlesbrough respectively.

Tottenham’s subsequent statement said they were “extremely surprised” that Arsenal’s application to postpone had been granted as they called for “clarity and consistency” with regards to the use of the rule.

Spurs said: “The original intention of the guidance was to deal with player availability directly affected by COVID cases, resulting in depleted squads that, when taken together with injuries, would result in the club being unable to field a team.

“We do not believe it was the intent to deal with player availability unrelated to COVID. We may now be seeing the unintended consequences of this rule. It is important to have clarity and consistency on the application of the rule.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting