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Premier League receives flak for constant postponement of games

Sunday's north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham became the 21st match called off over the past two months.

Abhinav Goel Author

Updated - 15 February 2022 10:28 pm

The Premier League games have been constantly postponed recently owing to injured players, COVID-19 rules, and non-availability of players. However, all the announcements for the delay and postponement of games have taken place just 24 hours before the commencement of games and that has left fans criticising the league. The Premier League stands accused of overseeing a farce after agreeing to Arsenal’s request to postpone their trip to Tottenham with the Gunners reportedly missing just one player due to coronavirus.

Sunday’s north London derby, which was due to be screened live in Sky Sports’ marquee slot of 16.30 GMT, became the 21st match called off over the past two months. Rules initially brought in to cope with record numbers of Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant of the virus have quickly been abused by clubs seeking to take advantage when depleted by injuries and the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

“What started out as postponements due to a pandemic has now become about clubs not having their best team,” tweeted former Manchester United captain and Sky pundit Gary Neville.

“The Premier League must stop this now, draw a line in the sand and say all games go ahead unless you have an exceptional amount of CV (coronavirus) cases. It’s wrong.”

Check out Gary Neville’s tweet here:

“The postponement of the North London Derby just over 24 hours before kick-off once again raises questions about football’s attitude to fans, and the integrity of competition,” the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust said in a statement. However, it may be noted that last season, when the entire campaign was played behind closed doors or with severe restrictions on crowd attendance, just a handful of games in the Premier League were postponed due to Covid issues. Yet now with full crowds back, fans’ plans are being thrown into turmoil with many postponements announced just 24 hours or less before games are due to go ahead.

At present, with so many games being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Premier League will now see all the rescheduled games taking place towards the end of the campaign, with fixture congestion likely to play a major factor.

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