Tottenham ‘extremely surprised’ as furious statement released over Arsenal postponement

Mikel Arteta has been set back by COVID-19 cases among his squad while several others have gone to the Africa Cup of Nations. 

Arsenal drew 1-1 with Liverpool on Thursday night with a couple of first-team stars absent. They requested a postponement of their upcoming fixture against Spurs just 24 hours later. 

However, Spurs have now asked for more clarity from the Premier League over postponements. 

The North London derby is now the 19th top-flight game to be called off in just over a month as Covid continues to cause chaos among clubs. 

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Spurs have pointed out that they were disqualified from the Europa Conference League after they were forced to call of their final group clash with Rennes in December. 

“We regret to announce that Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal has been postponed,” a Spurs club statement read. 

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

An Arsenal club statement read: “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 due to many players across our squad currently being unavailable as a result of COVID-19, existing and recent injuries, in addition to players away with their countries at AFCON. 

“We will update you when we have further information regarding the rearrangement of the fixture.”