Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool has been postponed.
The game had been scheduled to take place on Thursday at the Emirates Stadium, but the Reds submitted a formal request to have the game called off due to rising numbers of suspected COVID cases in their camp.
In the aftermath of that, assistant manager Pep Lijnders also returned a suspected positive test and the club took the decision to close its first team facilities at the AXA training centre.
And now the authorities have come to a decision to call the match off with the first leg due to now be played at Anfield on January 13, and the second leg scheduled to be played at the Emirates Stadium on January 20.
“The first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Liverpool scheduled for Thursday 6 January 2022 has been postponed following a formal request by Liverpool due to a severe outbreak of COVID infections amongst their management and playing staff,” an official statement from the EFL read.
“The EFL has been in regular dialogue with the Club over the past 48 hours in an attempt to understand whether the tie could proceed but significant developments over this period have resulted in the Club reporting an ever-increasing number of COVID cases.
“Having now fully reviewed the circumstances involved, the League has accepted Liverpool’s request after determining, albeit reluctantly, that a postponement was the only option as the Club looks to mitigate against the further risk of infection amongst its squad and staff alongside ensuring public health was protected by not travelling from Liverpool to London.
“As a result of the postponement, the order of the ties has now changed with the first of the two legs to take place at Anfield on 13 January 2022 at 7.45pm. The rearranged game (now the 2nd leg) is scheduled to be played at the Emirates on 20 January 2022 at 7:45pm.”
Arsenal responded in a statement expressing the club’s disappointment at the decision and stated that all tickets for the original game will still be valid for the newly scheduled fixture.
“We are disappointed to confirm that our Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool on Thursday 6 January has been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Liverpool squad and staff,” the statement read.
“As a result of the postponement, the order of the matches has been changed.
“The first of the two legs will now be played at Anfield on 13 January at 7.45pm. The return leg will now be at Emirates Stadium on Thursday 20 January at 7.45pm.
“Any tickets and/or hospitality packages for this fixture will be valid for the new date.
“Any further updates will be shared on arsenal.com. If you have any additional questions, please contact our Fan Services Team on [email protected] or call 020 7619 5000. Our opening hours are 9:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.
“We apologise to our fans for any disappointment and inconvenience caused.”