Supporters protest against Arsenal’s US owner Stan Kroenke, outside English Premier League club Arsenal’s Emirates stadium in London on April 23, 2021, ahead of their game against Everton. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)
Arsenal announced on Wednesday they had cancelled their pre-season trip to the United States after a “small number” of their touring party tested positive for coronavirus.
The Premier League side were scheduled to play Italian champions Inter Milan this weekend in the opening round of the Florida Cup, which also includes Everton and Colombia’s Millonarios.
In a statement announcing their withdrawal, Arsenal did not specify how many members of their touring group had tested positive for the virus, nor if any players were among those with a Covid-19 diagnosis.
“Following a small number of positive Covid tests among the planned party to travel to America tomorrow, we have sadly been forced to withdraw from the Florida Cup,” the statement read.
“This difficult decision is based on ensuring the health and wellbeing of our players and staff.”
The club said those who had tested positive were not currently displaying Covid-19 symptoms and were self-isolating.
“We are now making alternative arrangements in line with the Premier League protocols to continue our preparations for the new season,” the Gunners said.
The shortened Florida Cup is set to begin on Sunday at Camping World Stadium, Orlando, but organisers have not announced if Arsenal will be replaced by another side.
The Premier League season starts on August 13, with Arsenal travelling to newly promoted Brentford.