‘Same conditions’ – Arsenal boss Arteta issues response to Spurs postponement

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

Mikel Arteta has asked for greater clarity from the Premier League when it comes to postponing matches due to COVID-19. 

The comments have come in light of Tottenham’s recent outbreak which has seen the club’s Premier League encounter against Brighton this weekend postponed. 

Spurs confirmed eight first-team players and five members of Antonio Conte’s coaching staff tested positive during the week, which also caused Thursday’s Europa Conference League match against Rennes to be called off. 

UEFA’s ruling is that a fixture can be fulfilled if 13 senior players including a goalkeeper are available, while the Premier League adopt a different approach. Each individual case is analysed with the board making a final decision as to whether a game can go ahead.

Arteta, whose Arsenal squad had been hit with a smaller outbreak for the season opener against Brentford, still had to lead his side out despite a handful of players being deemed unavailable. 

The Gunners are said to have not requested a postponement like Spurs did and fulfilled the encounter, eventually falling on the wrong end of a 2-0 defeat. 

Arteta has since said the decision to postpone Spurs’ fixture this weekend was a sensible one, but he feels there needs to be clearer guidelines for when a match can be postponed going forward. 

He said (via Football.London): “I think the decision has to be made to protect the players and the environment, for me, this is the first thing.

“Afterwards we need to maintain certain criteria so the clubs that are competing can all compete in the same conditions. But for me the most important thing is health.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

There seem to be different criteria between the Premier League and UEFA as to when a match can be postponed when a number of senior players are unavailable.

This grey area seems to be a bit conflicting for other clubs last the moment, and a review may be needed to make this more understandable. 

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