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Tottenham reacts with FURY to decision to postpone North London derby with Arsenal

Tottenham have reacted furiously to the postponement of Sunday’s derby in north London, saying they are “extremely surprised” that the Premier League has approved Arsenal’s request.

A strongly formulated rack released on Saturday night accused the Premier League of not consistently applying their own rules when it came to postponing matches due to Covid absences.

Spurs pointed out that they were disqualified from the UEFA Europa Conference League when a large number of Covid cases forced them to reschedule their last group stage match.

Sunday's North London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal has been postponed

Sunday’s North London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal has been postponed

Mikel Arteta's (second from right) Gunners made the request in the absence of several players

Mikel Arteta’s (second from right) Gunners made the request in the absence of several players

They also criticized the Premier League for failing to accept their application to postpone the match with Leicester, but then canceling it when Leicester signed up.

Arsenal are without a dozen players due to injuries, suspension and international obligations at the Africa Cup of Nations.

But there is only one known positive Covid case in their squad: midfielder Martin Odegaard.

The Spurs statement said: “We are extremely surprised that this application has been approved.

“We have been disqualified from the European Conference League ourselves after a significant number of COVID cases meant we had to reschedule a match and our application to move our Leicester match was not approved – only to then postpone it when Leicester signed up.

The Gunners currently have 11 players sidelined for various reasons and that could grow

The Gunners currently have 11 players sidelined for various reasons and that could grow

“The original intent of the guidance was to address player availability that is directly impacted by COVID cases, resulting in depleted squads which, along with injuries, would prevent the club from fielding a team.

“We do not believe the intent was to address player availability that is not related to COVID.

“Perhaps we are now seeing the unintended consequences of this rule.

“It is important to have clarity and consistency about the application of the rule.

Once again fans have seen their plans disrupted at unacceptably short notice.

“We will again send food deliveries to the local food banks to avoid unacceptable waste.

“We are sincerely sorry for our fans – some of whom have traveled great distances.”

Antonio Conte's Spurs are furious at Arsenal's attempts to cancel the game

Antonio Conte’s Spurs are furious at Arsenal’s attempts to cancel the game

Full statement from Tottenham

We are sorry to inform you that Sunday’s North London derby against Arsenal has been postponed.

This follows Arsenal’s entry into the Premier League based on a combination of COVID, existing and recent injuries and players in international service at the Africa Cup of Nations.

We are very surprised that this application has been approved.

We ourselves were disqualified from the European Conference League after a significant number of COVID cases meant we had to reschedule a match and our application to move our Leicester match was not approved – only to then postpone it when Leicester signed up.

The original intent of the guidance – here – was to address player availability directly affected by COVID cases, resulting in depleted squads which, along with injuries, would prevent the club from fielding a team.

We don’t think the intent was to address player availability that had nothing to do with COVID.

We may now see the unintended consequences of this rule.

It is important to have clarity and consistency about the application of the rule.

Once again, fans have seen their plans disrupted at unacceptably short notice.

We will again send food deliveries to the local food banks to avoid unacceptable waste.

We are sincerely sorry for our fans – some of whom have traveled great distances.

The Premier League announced on Saturday afternoon that it had accepted Arsenal’s request to postpone the derby.

A statement said: “Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League board met today and regrettably agreed to postpone the club’s away game against Tottenham Hotspur, which will be played at 4.30pm on Sunday 16 January.

“As Arsenal have fewer than the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), the board has accepted the club’s application.

“The League apologizes for the inconvenience and disruption caused to supporters who allegedly attended or watched the match. We are well aware that the postponement will disappoint clubs and fans.

“The League wants to provide as much clarity as possible, but unfortunately sometimes a postponement has to be requested in the short term, because safety is our priority. Where possible, the League will make every effort to keep supporters informed if games are compromised.”

Arsenal also confirmed the news in a statement on their website.

We are disappointed to announce that Sunday’s North London derby at Tottenham Hotspur has been postponed.

“We know how much this match means to our fans around the world, but the Premier League has made the decision to postpone the match as many players in our roster are currently unavailable due to COVID-19, existing and recent injuries. , besides players away with their country at AFCON.’

The rules state that clubs are required to play Premier League matches, provided they have 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper who are part of the senior squad or ‘under-21’ with sufficient experience.”

But Mikel Arteta’s roster is so exhausted that they couldn’t even gather that many players for one of their biggest games of the season.

Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe are off to Cameroon for the ongoing AFCON competition.

Granit Xhaka was banned on Thursday evening after his red card against Liverpool in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup.

Martin Odegaard is the only known Covid case at the club, but Calum Chambers, Cedric Soares, Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka are all doubting injuries.

The amount of doubts about injuries raised suspicions at Tottenham and it has not gone unnoticed that Arsenal have let Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Folarin Balogun leave on loan in recent days.

Arsenal’s Under-23 squad also got into action on Friday night, drawing 1-1 with West Ham, with a potential argument that some of those players could have been called into the senior squad by Arteta.

It is the second Premier League game to be missed this weekend after Saturday’s match between Burnley and Leicester City was postponed.

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