Arsenal withdraw from Florida Cup due to high number of Coronavirus cases

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Arsenal football club will no longer travel to the United States of America to participate in Florida Cup due to a high number of coronavirus cases at the club.

The Premier League club was expected to be in Florida on Wednesday, July 21 for the continuation of the club’s pre-season tour alongside Italian Serie A club, Inter Milan.

Other clubs that are expected to be in the city for the Florida Cup include Premier League club, Everton, and Colombian club Millonarios.

In preparation for their departure to the United States, all Arsenal players and technical crew were subjected to a coronavirus test. A number of them tested positive for the virus.

In a statement on the club’s official website, the coronavirus cases among the club’s players and staff forced them to withdraw from their planned US tour.

They were expected to take off to the US on Wednesday but the journey was canceled abruptly on health grounds. The club had to issue an apology to the organizers of the Florida Cup for their failure to show up at the tournament.

A file photo of Arsenal players celebrating a goal.
A file photo of Arsenal players celebrating a goal.

A statement from the club read: “We fully understand what a disappointment this is for our supporters in America who were looking forward to seeing us compete in the Florida Cup as part of our pre-season build-up. Our apologies also go to the organizers of the Florida Cup who had done a fantastic job making the preparations and our partners who had arranged events around our participation in the competition.

“We are glad to say the members of staff are not currently displaying any COVID symptoms. They are now in self-isolation at home.

“We are now making alternative arrangements in line with the Premier League protocols to continue our preparations for the new season.

“We hope everyone understands this difficult situation which is beyond anyone’s control.”

Before it was confirmed that the coronavirus cases at the club have increased, the plan was that Arsenal would play Inter Milan on July 25 in the Florida Cup. The winner of the match would play the winner of the match between Everton and Millonarios.

Arsenal confirmed a high number of coronavirus cases among their players and staff after playing two pre-season matches against Hibernian and Rangers on July 13 and July 17 respectively. The match against Hibernian gifted Arsenal a 2-1 defeat while the one against Rangers ended in a 2-2 draw.

As it stands, the club’s coach, Mikel Arteta who just welcomed two new signings to his squad – Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares, would have to find a way to put his team together before August 13 when the team will face Brentford in the club’s Premier League opener.