Arteta asks for ‘more clarity’ on Covid postponements

Dan Butterfield
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wants ‘more clarity’ on the Covid postponements that have ravaged the Premier League schedule in recent weeks.

The Gunners’ clash with Leeds on Saturday evening is one of just two games that have survived from the six that were scheduled to take place. In total, five Premier League games have been called off in this weekends fixture list. Further postponements are still possible.

Ahead of the Leeds game, Arteta was asked if Arsenal are free from Covid- positive results.

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“Yes but this is changing every day. That’s the uncertainty that we all have. Hopefully we don’t have any cases but we have to wait and see,” said the Arsenal boss.

“We are good we are waiting for more tests which we’ll have this afternoon. This is the only thing we can do, wait and see.

“Health wise I hope we’re doing everything we can to protect everybody. The vaccine protocols are in place. I’m sure with everything we are doing we can do our best to maintain everybody healthy.”

The Spaniard then pleaded for more clarity from the authorities on the reasoning for the postponements and what it takes for a game to be called off.

“In terms of the competition there we need more clarity on why those games are not being played and what you need to not play a game so you can maintain the fairness of the competition and for me this is a big thing now.”

The Gunners boss was then asked if he was happy to play the game this weekend amid a number of calls for all Premier League games to be called off this weekend.

“We always want to play when we have the right conditions to do so 100%.

“But we’ve been here on the other side of the table when we’ve had all the arguments in the world to not play a football match and ended up playing it. That’s why we need clarity to because the fairness of the competition can be altered.

“We need clarity, the regulators will make the decision over whether a game is played or not but we all need to understand the reasons behind it.

“We are going to have to find a way. We knew when we started the season this [Covid problems] could be a possibility and I am sure there was a Plan A, B and C.

“We have the AFCON as well, we know the date of the World Cup coming, so we need a flexible calendar now because this world is not the world we used to live in a few years ago.”