Arsenal 'disappointed' as Liverpool explain Carabao Cup semi-final postponement
Arsenal and Liverpool have both released statements after their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg was postponed
Arsenal admit they are "disappointed" after Liverpool were granted a request for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between the two teams to be postponed.
The Premier League duo were scheduled to meet at the Emirates on Thursday evening, only for the game to be called off at lunchtime on Wednesday.
The EFL "reluctantly" accepted Liverpool were unable to field a team for the game after the COVID outbreak that has forced the Reds to temporarily close their training ground at Kirkby.
And Arsenal said in a statement on www.arsenal.com: "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.
"We apologise to our fans for any disappointment and inconvenience caused."
Liverpool also released a statement in which they explained the reason for seeking a postponement and sent a message to supporters of both clubs.
"The club’s submission to have the fixture rescheduled has been approved by the EFL due to the increasing number of suspected positive COVID-19 cases among players and staff," it read.
"The latest round of testing on Tuesday returned a significant number of positives, including Pepijn Lijnders, who was due to take charge of the Reds at Emirates Stadium.
"The outbreak has left Liverpool without a sufficient number of players and staff to fulfil the contest as originally scheduled.
"Liverpool Football Club would like to place on record its thanks to the EFL and Arsenal for their understanding, as well as supporters of both clubs, as we continue to navigate through this challenging period."
The order of the games in the semi-final has now been switched, with the game at Anfield on Thursday, January 13 now becoming the first leg, with the return game at Arsenal the following Thursday.
Tickets bought for the original game at the Emirates will remain valid, with Liverpool planning to email supporters who bought a ticket with details on refunds should they be unable to attend the rescheduled fixture.