July 21, (THEWILL) – The expected United States pre-season tour of English Premier League side Arsenal has become the latest schedule to be cancelled after “a number of positive COVID-19 cases at the club,” from in-club tests conducted on team players and team management, with all cases being asymptomatic.
With warm-up games against Hibernian and Rangers, which they lost and drew respectively, in the bag, the north London club was originally scheduled to depart for Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday for the pre-season tour before the positive cases were identified.
The Arsenal squad was preparing for a pair of friendlies at the Florida base before returning to London on July 28. They were supposed to be part of a set of four teams to compete for the Florida Cup including Everton, Millonarios FC and Serie A champions Inter Milan.
There are no indications yet if the Cup will still be competed for with the vacant slot Arsenal has left in their wake and if so, which team will take the slot at such short notice. But, Everton intends to compete and Inter was also keeping to the schedule by heading out to the US as they shared on Twitter.
Apart from the Florida Cup, Arsenal’s pre-season included fixtures after their US competition. The Gunners calendar included friendlies in August against fellow Londoners Chelsea on the 1st and Tottenham Hotspur seven days later on the 8th.
It is hoped that Arsenal can make it to these derbies before they open their 2021/2022 Premier League season on August 13 against Brentford, the newly promoted side that recently added Nigeria’s Taiwo Awoniyi to their squad for next season.