The North London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal scheduled for Sunday has been postponed.
The Premier League confirmed the news on Saturday following Arsenal's request on Friday that the match be postponed.
Spurs were not happy with the request on Friday. However, on Saturday it was decided that the Gunners could not field a team of sufficient players.
In a statement released by the Premier League on Saturday, they explained the reasons behind postponing the derby.
"With Arsenal having fewer than the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), the Board accepted the club’s application," the statement read.
"The decision is a result of a combination of COVID-19, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.
"All clubs are able to apply for a postponement if COVID-19 infections are a factor in their request."
The Premier League's approach to postponements
While the League regrets the need to postpone matches, the statement suggested that some matches have to be postponed for the sake of players and fans.
"The League apologises for the inconvenience and disruption caused to supporters who would have attended or watched the game - we are fully aware that postponements disappoint clubs and fans," the statement read.
"The League aims to provide as much clarity as possible, but unfortunately postponements sometimes have to be made at short notice, as safety is our priority.
"Where possible, the League will endeavour to keep supporters updated if games become at risk.
"The Premier League’s postponement rules are designed to protect the wellbeing of players and staff, while maintaining the sporting integrity of the competition.
"Club requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and adapted COVID-19 postponement guidance, implemented in light of the Omicron variant.
"The Board examines a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of COVID-19; and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match.
"The detail within all applications is scrutinised by the League’s specialist staff before the Board makes its decision."
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