Arsenal canceled their preseason tournament trip to the United States due to a “small number” of positive COVID-19 cases among the team’s traveling party, the Premier League club announced Tuesday.
The Gunners were scheduled to participate in the Florida Cup but withdrew just five days before their first match.
“This difficult decision is based on ensuring the health and well-being of our players and staff,” read a statement from the club.
“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 preseason build up.
“Our apologies also go to the organizers 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.”
It’s unclear who or how many people tested positive, but the club said the infected members are self-isolating at home and haven’t displayed any COVID-19 symptoms.
News of the positive cases could disrupt manager Mike Arteta’s plans to prepare his squad for the upcoming Premier League season, which kicks off for Arsenal on Aug. 13 when they take on newly-promoted Brentford.
“We are now making alternative arrangements in line with the Premier League protocols to continue our preparations for the new season,” Arsenal said.
Arsenal were scheduled to begin play in the Florida Cup against Inter Milan on Saturday and then possibly face the winner of Everton’s match against Colombian side Millionarios.