EPL

Arteta awaiting 'security decision' on Arsenal's Middle East trip

By Sports Desk January 15, 2020

Mikel Arteta will cancel Arsenal's mid-season trip to Dubai if the club deem it unsafe to travel to the Middle East.

With the introduction of a break in the Premier League schedule in 2019-20, Arsenal had been set for a four-day training camp ahead of the February 16 Premier League match against Newcastle United.

But top-flight rivals Manchester United have scrapped plans for their own possible Qatar break due to political tensions in the region.

Arsenal will assess the safety of a potential trip before deciding whether to follow suit, head coach Arteta told reporters.

"The security decision will be the priority," Arteta said. "If we are advised by the club and the people making those decisions that it's not safe, we won't be going anywhere.

"We talked about different options in this break to go away and live together in a different environment with better weather conditions and a little bit away from here.

"We still have a few things to look after from a club perspective, and when we know all that, we will confirm what we are doing. At the moment, we have two or three different options."

The Gunners play Burnley on February 2, two weeks before Newcastle's visit, although any need for a replay against Bournemouth in the FA Cup fourth round would cut into that lay-off.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Shevchenko sees similarities between pandemic and Chernobyl disaster Coronavirus: Shevchenko sees similarities between pandemic and Chernobyl disaster

    Former AC Milan and Chelsea forward Andriy Shevchenko believes the coronavirus pandemic is similar to the Chernobyl disaster.

    More than 30,800 people have died from coronavirus, with the number of cases worldwide exceeding 660,000.

    Shevchenko, who was a child at the time of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 that reportedly killed 54 people and is said to have led to thousands of deaths, said he saw similarities.

    "I lived a moment very similar to this. At the time, I was nine years old," the Ukraine coach told Sky Sport.

    "The only thing we have to do is avoid stupid behaviour. None of us can be sure that we have no contracted the virus.

    "We must not go out, we must not think only of us, but above all of those people for whom the infection would be a greater problem."

    Shevchenko thanked doctors and nurses and urged people to respect guidance from their governments.

    Italy, where Shevchenko played with AC Milan from 1999-2006, has seen more than 10,000 deaths due to coronavirus.

    "The only solution is to respect the rules of the government – that is to stay at home and give doctors the opportunity to do their job, which is really huge," he said.

    "Give them volunteer nurses, they are the heroes of our time. They must be thanked for all they are doing."

  • Coronavirus: UEFA president Ceferin concedes 2019-20 season could be lost Coronavirus: UEFA president Ceferin concedes 2019-20 season could be lost

    UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has acknowledged the 2019-20 season across Europe would likely be lost if football is unable to restart by the end of June.

    The 2019-20 season has been suspended indefinitely across most of Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Euro 2020 also pushed back to 2021.

    While leagues are hoping to restart between the end of April and the beginning of June, there is as yet no definite return date and Ceferin has conceded it may be impossible to finish the season at all.

    In that case, UEFA's president has suggested the campaign would have to be considered as null and void.

    "If we don't succeed in restarting, the season will probably be lost," Ceferin told Italian publication La Repubblica.

    "There is a plan A, B and C. The three options are to start again in mid-May, in June or at the end of June.

    "There is also the possibility of starting again at the beginning of the next [season], starting the following one later. We will see the best solution for leagues and clubs."

    Some matches on the continent, including Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund, were played behind closed doors earlier this month, and Ceferin stated playing games without fans in attendance may be the only solution in order to complete the season.

    "It's hard for me to imagine all the matches behind closed doors, but we still don't know whether we'll resume, with or without spectators," he said.

    "If there was no alternative, it would be better to finish the championships."

  • Coronavirus: Premier League stars spread the word to 'stay at home, save lives' Coronavirus: Premier League stars spread the word to 'stay at home, save lives'

    With the Premier League season on hold until April 30 at the earliest, the English top-flight's big names still managed to get their message across on Saturday.

    The Premier League, along with the majority of sporting tournaments and events across the globe, is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Many nations are in total or near-total lockdown, with people only allowed to leave their homes for essential trips and exercise.

    Though there is no sport to keep people entertained, some of the biggest names – both players and managers – from the Premier League came together on Saturday at 1500 GMT to spread the message: "stay at home, save lives."

     

    Using his official Twitter and Instagram accounts, Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling shared a video.

    "We need to stay at home, let's help our NHS by staying home, only leave if you need food, medicine or exercise," Sterling said. "The NHS have been doing a fantastic job so let's help them continue doing their wonderful work."

    He was also joined by his City team-mates Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy, as well as the club's ladies captain Steph Houghton.

    Across the city, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also offered his support to the campaign.

    "Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives," the Norwegian said in a video posted to United's Twitter feed.

    Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus on March 12 and, having now recovered, he also shared the message.

    "I encourage everybody, please be responsible and stay at home as much as possible," the Spaniard said.

    Meanwhile, Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard said: "To help save lives, you must stay home. Only leave home to buy essential food, medicine or for individual exercise and always stay two metres apart. This is an urgent message. Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives."

    Premier League leaders Liverpool shared a graphic which read: "Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives."

    Tottenham striker and England captain Harry Kane did not share a video, but wrote in a post on Twitter: "Saturday 3pm normally means football. But at the moment it's far more important everyone stays home. Do your bit. Protect the NHS, save lives."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.