Football

Florida Cup: Inter and Arsenal both withdraw from Florida Cup amid Covid concerns

Inter Milan have withdrawn themselves from the Florida cup amid the rises in the COVID-19 cases in the country. Florida is currently experiencing a massive rise in new cases, causing the club to scrap their pre-season plans at the last minute.

Arsenal and Inter Milan were expected to face each other in the pre-season tournament in the United States on July 25, at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium, but members of the Gunners’ travelling party have tested positive for Covid-19 and the Nerazzurri’s are now out of the competition as a precaution. 

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The Nerazzurri’s released a statement in their official website on Wednesday: “FC Internazionale Milano announce that they will not be travelling to the USA for the Florida Cup due to the current risks involved in international travel as a result of the spread of the pandemic, risks that have already caused Arsenal F.C. to withdraw from participation.” 

“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,” the club wrote in a statement late on Tuesday night,” the Gunners’ statement read.

“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. “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 state of Florida reported over 45,000 positives in the week ending July 15, double the number of the previous seven days. Florida is suffering from the highest number of infections in the entire country, with an estimated one in five new cases nationally originating in the state. Inter were supposed to face the Gunners on Sunday and then eventually the winners of this match would face Everton or Millionarios.

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Florida Cup organisers issued the following statement after Inter dropped out: “Though we regret Inter Milan’s decision to withdraw from the Florida Cup today, we welcomed Everton to Orlando this afternoon, with Millonarios set to arrive tomorrow. Those clubs will meet as planned on Sunday, July 25, with the match beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

“Additional updates to the tournament schedule will be announced shortly. Out of respect for the fans who purchased tickets to the original line-ups, we will be automatically refunding all purchases through Ticketmaster. Additional information will be sent to ticket holders through their point of purchase.

“General admission tickets will be sold for contests on both original match dates, July 25 and 28.

Regarding Arsenal bowing out on Tuesday, the Florida Cup said: “We are disappointed that Arsenal have decided not to participate in the 2021 Florida Cup.

“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.
“We will be in communication with fans who purchased tickets to see Arsenal in Orlando regarding their options.”

The Serie A winners will now have to make changes in their pre-season plans & shift the destination too. The Nerazzurri’s will begin the 2021-22 campaign with a home match against Genoa on Aug 21.

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