The postponement of the settlement between Arsenal and Tottenham came only a day before the match was to be played. It is met with skepticism among experts, who are strongly critical of the corona regulations in the Premier League.
Aftenposten collaborates with VG-sporten. Therefore, as an Aftenposten reader, you also get articles and services created by VG.
Martin Ødegaard is among the players who have tested positive for corona at Arsenal. The club is also struggling with several other injuries and delays due to the African Championship. Therefore, the red shirts applied to have Sunday’s match against Tottenham postponed, and that application has now been granted, according to the Premier League.
“Since Arsenal have fewer than the required number of players available for the match (13 outfielders and one goalkeeper), the board has accepted the club’s application.”
That reason does not buy former Manchester United player and current Sky Sports expert Gary Neville.
– What started with postponements due to the pandemic is now about whether the clubs have their best team or not. The Premier League must stop this now. They must set a limit and say that all matches go as planned as long as there is not an exceptional number of covid cases. This is wrong, Neville writes on Twitter.
Toothless Liverpool struggled without the stars: – Not the way we want to play football
The renowned football journalist Henry Winter writes on the same website that the Premier League tops have also included absences in connection with the African Championship in the calculation.
The Athletic journalist Jack Pitt-Brooke agrees with Neville, and describes it all as a scandal.
– Morally, it is a scandal that a team can withdraw from a settlement 24 hours before kick-off, with only a positive case of corona. It is disrespectful to opponents and supporters. Most clubs will probably take advantage of this. It is the rules that are the problem, he thunders on Twitter.
Many on social media believe Arsenal are acting unsportsmanlike. The Mirror journalist John Cross strongly disagrees.
– Those who go after Arsenal miss the point completely. The club has seen that others have been postponed, so why should not they also apply for it? The rules of the Premier League have been stretched and exploited for a number of years. Writing them about now is in the latest team, Cross believes.
The derby has not yet been given a new date.