Mikel Arteta calls on Premier League to tighten 'vague' Covid rules

Mikel Arteta calls on Premier League to tighten ‘vague’ guidelines on Covid-related postponements following outbreaks at Spurs, Norwich and Leicester as Arsenal boss insists clarity would be ‘really helpful’

  • Mikel Arteta has called on the Premier League to clarify Covid guidelines 
  • The top flight postponed Tottenham’s game against Brighton due to Covid 
  • However, they opted not to postpone the Gunners’ season opener at Brentford
  • Arteta says clarity on the currently ‘vague’ rules would be ‘really helpful’ 

Mikel Arteta believes the Premier League’s guidelines on Covid-related postponements are too vague.

Tottenham’s trip to Brighton on Sunday will be rearranged after Arsenal’s north London rivals were hit with an outbreak, with eight players testing positive but the total number of cases at the club running into double figures.

Arsenal felt they had been sufficiently impacted for their season-opener against Brentford to be postponed after four players including main strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette contracted the virus.

Mikel Arteta has called for more clarity from the Premier League on postponement rules

Tottenham’s game against Brighton has been postponed due to a Covid outbreak at the club

However, their game went ahead and Brentford won 2-0. The Premier League have no set number of cases that automatically triggers a postponement, treating each situation on its own merits.

Meanwhile UEFA rules state if a team are left with less than 13 players or no goalkeeper their game will be postponed.

Asked if a strict number is required in the Premier League, Arteta said: ‘I’m saying that would be really, really helpful. I think it is [too vague] because you don’t know when you have to play and when you don’t and we have some examples about that.

‘The decision has to be made first of all to protect the players and the environment and after obviously we need to maintain certain criteria so all the clubs are competing can compete in the same conditions. That’s it. But for me the most important thing is health.

Arsenal had an outbreak at the start of the season but their game at Brentford went ahead

‘It is about the decision making that goes the same way for everybody and this is what we have to hope for and we know the context where we’re going to be competing and if there are certain things that you don’t meet then the game is off and if you do then the game is on and we all know and there is a fair competition.’

Following the Brighton v Spurs postponement, the Premier League wrote to all 20 clubs ordering them to re-impose emergency covid measures.

Arteta said: ‘The situation is very tricky because it is impossible to create a bubble around the training ground and the stadium when the whole world is open because it is not about us it is about the people we have around us. About our kids, it’s a lot of people that are connected to us and make the situation really, really tricky.’

Arteta has called for uniformity across the league and said that health is most important

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