Inter Milan ‘join Arsenal in pulling out of the pre-season Florida Cup trip due to coronavirus fears’ after Mikel Arteta’s Gunners withdrew from the competition following positive cases in the first-team squad this week
- Arsenal pulled out of the pre-season Florida Cup tournament due to coronavirus
- Several first-team players tested positive this week so the Gunners will not fly
- Inter Milan, Arsenal’s opponents, have reportedly also pulled out of the cup
- Premier League side Everton and Millonarios from Colombia are the other teams
Inter Milan have joined Arsenal in pulling out of the Florida Cup due to coronavirus concerns, according to reports in Italy.
It was revealed on Tuesday night that the Gunners, who were set to leave for the United States on Wednesday, will not be travelling for the competition after multiple Arsenal players tested positive for coronavirus.
The Premier League side were due to take on Inter this Sunday, with the winner and loser of that tie playing whoever won or lost out of Everton or Colombian side Millonarios.
Simone Inzaghi’s Inter Milan have joined Arsenal in pulling out of the Florida Cup, say reports
Arsenal were forced to pull out after a few players tested positive for coronavirus this week
And according to Sky Sports Italia, Simone Inzaghi’s Inter have now opted to pull out of the tournament due to concerns about coronavirus.
The Italian side, who were due to fly out on Thursday, had reportedly raised concerns about travelling to America last week, due to the rise in Covid-19 cases caused by the Delta variant.
It was revealed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday that the Indian Covid variant now makes up 83 per cent of all new cases in the United States.
Inter were reportedly worried last week about travelling to the US due to the Delta variant
Inter, Everton Millonarios or are yet to confirm whether they will take part in the competition following Arsenal’s withdrawal on Tuesday.
The Gunners conducted one round of PCR tests on Monday with further lateral flow checks taking place on Tuesday, leading to positive results among some of the 80-strong party set to board the plane to Florida.
Those who tested positive will now go into self-isolation while the remainder will return to work and be regularly tested as normal.
Those unaffected players will continue training at London Colney, with Arsenal set to hastily arrange some new fixtures to fill the gap in their warm-up schedule.
There have been a ‘small number’ of positive tests within Arsenal ‘s 80-strong first-team group
Given the current climate, Arsenal were almost braced for the possibility of Covid-19 hitting their pre-season and will now activate their contingency plans to squeeze in the replacement friendlies.
They could have still travelled to America with those who tested positive left behind following their results.
But they then ran the risk of discovering further positive tests in their group which would have resulted in those affected having to remain in quarantine in the US.
Mikel Arteta has changed Arsenal’s pre-season plans three weeks before the season begins
A club statement read on Tuesday night: ‘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.
‘This difficult decision is based on ensuring the health and wellbeing of our players and staff. We fully understand what a disappointment this is for our supporters in America who were looking forward to seeing us compete in the Florida Cup as part of our pre-season build up.
‘Our apologies also go to the organisers of the Florida Cup who had done a fantastic job making the preparations and our partners who had arranged events around our participation in the competition.
The Gunners had to apologise to their US fans for not making the trip to the United States
‘We are glad to say the members of staff are not currently displaying any COVID symptoms. They are now in self-isolation at home.’
Arsenal, who played two matches against Hibernian and Rangers as part of a pre-season training camp to Scotland last week, are just over three weeks away from their Premier League opener against Brentford on August 13.
The Gunners will face London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham in the first two weeks of August as part of the ‘Mind Series’ tournament which will raise money for mental health charity Mind.