Arsenal cancels US trip after positive COVID-19 tests

LONDON (AP) — Arsenal pulled out of the Florida Cup and cancelled its pre-season trip to the United States (US) after members of its travelling party tested positive for COVID-19, the club said yesterday.

The Premier League team had been scheduled to depart today and play against Inter Milan in Orlando on Sunday. It said a “small number” of the travelling party tested positive.

“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,” the team said in a statement. “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 statement didn’t specify how many members of the travelling group tested positive or if any were players.

“We are glad to say the members of staff are not currently displaying any COVID symptoms. They are now in self-isolation at home,” the team said. “We hope everyone understands this difficult situation which is beyond anyone’s control.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. The London-based team cancelled its pre-season trip to the US after members of its travelling party tested positive for COVID-19. PHOTO: AFP

Everton and Colombia’s Millonarios are the other teams participating in the seventh edition of the Florida Cup.

“We are disappointed that Arsenal have decided not to participate in the 2021 Florida Cup,” the tournament said in a statement. “We wish the members of the Arsenal travelling party who tested positive for COVID-19 a speedy recovery as we continue making final preparations for the event.”

Tournament organisers haven’t announced if Arsenal will be replaced by another team.

Arsenal added that it is “making alternative arrangements in line with the Premier League protocols to continue our preparations for the new season”.