EPL

Tottenham 'extremely surprised' by decision to postpone Arsenal clash

By Sports Desk January 15, 2022

Tottenham have said they are "extremely surprised" Arsenal's request to have Sunday's north London derby postponed was approved by the Premier League.

The Gunners asked the league to reschedule the match as they said they would not have the minimum requirement of 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper.

Mikel Arteta's side lodged the appeal after Martin Odegaard tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. Arsenal were also set to be without the suspended Granit Xhaka and the injured Cedric Soares, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe are all at the Africa Cup of Nations as well.

Under Premier League rules, clubs can apply for a match to be postponed "if COVID-19 infections are a factor in their request".

Tottenham, though, are not happy with the decision, and have called for greater "clarity and consistency on the application of the rule".

A statement posted on Spurs' official website read: "We regret to announce that Sunday's north London derby against Arsenal has been postponed.

"This follows an application from Arsenal to the Premier League on the basis of a combination of COVID, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.

"We are extremely 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 needed to reschedule a fixture and our application to move our Leicester fixture was not approved – only for it to be subsequently postponed when Leicester applied.

"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.

"Yet again fans have seen their plans disrupted at unacceptably short notice. We shall once again send food deliveries to the local food banks to avoid unacceptable waste.

"We are sincerely sorry for our fans – some of whom will have travelled great distances."

Related items

  • Mane promises 'best answer' on Liverpool future after Champions League final Mane promises 'best answer' on Liverpool future after Champions League final

    Sadio Mane will wait until after the Champions League final before revealing "the best answer you want to hear" on his Liverpool future.

    Mane has been a key man for Liverpool as they have challenged for silverware on four fronts this season, scoring 23 goals and assisting two across 50 games in all competitions.

    The 30-year-old winger is excelling again despite uncertainty surrounding his future at Anfield, where his contract is due to expire in 12 months' time.

    Team-mates Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are in the same position, but Mane is determined talk of a departure will not distract from Saturday's huge match against Real Madrid.

    And he teased he will "give you all you want to hear" after the Paris showpiece.

    "I think the answer I can give you now is I feel very good," Mane said. "I am fully focused on Saturday's game, that is the answer I must give before the final.

    "But come back to me on Saturday and I will give you the best answer you want to hear, for sure. It's special. I will give you all you want to hear then.

    "I love what I am doing, and I sacrifice myself all the time. I am working hard every single day on the pitch and in the gym, and I get better and better, that's the most important. I am trying my best to help the team."

    Mane scored in the 2018 final between Liverpool and Madrid, with the Spanish giants running out 3-1 winners.

    The Santiago Bernabeu side could be among the suitors for Mane should he leave Liverpool, but his aim for now is to beat them.

    "Good question," he said when asked about the possibility of being approached by Madrid. "But what I want to say now is I am fully focused on the Champions League and winning it, which is far more important for me and the Liverpool fans.

    "I will do everything absolutely possible to win the game for Liverpool.

    "I think we all forgot about what happened in 2018. For sure, Real Madrid were the better team then and deserved to win the game, but it is going to be a different game."

  • Mane saddened by lack of African Ballon d'Or winners Mane saddened by lack of African Ballon d'Or winners

    Sadio Mane believes an African winner of the Ballon d'Or is overdue, with both he and Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah seemingly in the frame ahead of Saturday's Champions League final.

    Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the award since 2008, with Luka Modric the only player to break their hegemony in the World Cup year of 2018.

    France Football announced changes to the voting process in March, moving to align with the European club season and reducing the number of judges to make wins "much more demanding".

    George Weah was the first and only African winner of the prestigious individual prize in 1995, but Mane appears to be in contention after enjoying a fine season with Liverpool and winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal.

    "It's true. If you guys say it, what can I say myself? Which is sad," Mane said of the lack of African recognition.

    "For me, it would be even more special to have another bonus, which is the Ballon d'Or, and I would be the most happy player in the world.

    "This cup, the Africa Cup of Nations, is one of the biggest for myself, it is the biggest trophy I have won in my life, and for an African player not to have won the Ballon d'Or since George Weah is sad for sure.

    "Winning the Champions League is special. I have a chance to play it again, and we will do everything we can to win it, and then we will see what happens with the Ballon d'Or."

  • Napoli complete deals for Zambo Anguissa and Olivera Napoli complete deals for Zambo Anguissa and Olivera

    Napoli announced two signings on Thursday, confirming midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa from Fulham on a permanent deal and the arrival of Mathias Olivera from Getafe.

    The Cameroon international spent this season on loan at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, and Napoli have taken up the option to make the move permanent for an undisclosed fee.

    Zambo Anguissa joined Fulham from Marseille in 2018, making 66 appearances in all for the Cottagers.

    He made 25 appearances for Luciano Spalletti's side in Serie A this season, recording two assists.

    The Italian club also confirmed the signing of Olivera from Getafe, with the Uruguayan left-back having made 119 appearances during five seasons in Spain.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.