The Premier League game tagged North London derby was suppose to take place at Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Sunday, January 16, 2022.
Earlier, Futballnews.com reported that Arsenal football club has submitted a request to the Premier League board to postpone the match because the club lacked enough players to execute the game.
Afterward, the Premier League board announced via a statement that the league body has granted Arsenal’s request to postpone the league game.
In the statement, the board confirmed that the game was not just postponed due to the number of infected and injured players at the club, the number of Arsenal players who are currently participating in the ongoing AFCON was put into consideration.
“The decision is a result of a combination of Covid-19, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations,” the Premier League read.
Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and regrettably agreed to postpone the North London Derby, due to be played at 4:30pm on Sunday 16 January.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 15, 2022
Full PL statement ⤵️
Recall that the Premier League rule states that a club can apply for a game to be postponed if the club has less than 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper available for the game.
Another important factor according to the league body is that a club can only apply for a game to be postponed if “Covid-19 infections are a factor in their request”.
“Postponement rules are designed to protect the wellbeing of players and staff while maintaining the sporting integrity of the competition”, the league body said.
“Club requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and adapted Covid-19 postponement guidance, implemented in light of the Omicron varian.
“The board examines a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of Covid-19, and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match.
“The detail within all applications is scrutinised by the league’s specialist staff before the board makes its decision.”
🚨 Our match against Tottenham on Sunday, January 16 has been postponed. #TOTARS— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 15, 2022
The situation at Arsenal that forced Tottenham vs Arsenal game to be postponed
Tottenham vs Arsenal game is the 21st Premier League game to be postponed so far in the 2021-2022 season.
If the game had not been postponed, Arsenal would have gone into the game without Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Nicolas Pepe who are currently with their countries in the ongoing AFCON.
Currently, the club’s first-team players like Cedric Soares, Bukayo Saka, and Calum Chambers are all battling different degrees of injuries. While Martin Odegaard is reportedly sick and Granit Xhaka is out due to the red card he received in the Carabao Cup semi-final game between Arsenal and Liverpool.