Antonio Conte adds fuel to fire with “unfair” Arsenal claim – but he wouldn’t change it

Tottenham Hotspur face Arsenal on Thursday night in a rearranged fixture after the north London derby was initially postponed due to Covid-19 earlier in the season

(Image: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)ByKieran King

  • 12:53, 11 May 2022
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Antonio Conte has claimed the decision made to postpone the north London derby in January was "unfair" but insists he has moved on from the incident.

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Tottenham Hotspur were initially scheduled to face Mikel Arteta's side on January 16, but the game had to be called off due to Covid-19 cases in the Arsenal squad. The Gunners asked the Premier League to postpone the fixture as a result of Covid, injuries and players participating at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Subsequently, the Premier League decided to change its rules behind postponements due to Covid after it was confirmed Arsenal had just one positive case in the squad. Meanwhile, Tottenham crashed out of the Europa Conference League in December after they had to forfeit their game against Rennes because of a Covid outbreak.

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Spurs also tried to call off their trip to Leicester City on December 16, but the request was rejected by the Premier League. Conte said: "To speak now about what happened in the past is not useful. For sure, it was very strange that our game was postponed for Covid and Arsenal didn’t have one player with Covid.

"We lost a game 3-0 [to Rennes] because Premier League didn’t want to move our game when we had 9 or 10 players with Covid. At that time, it was unfair what happened, but now this is the past and we have to be focused on the present and try to get the best result.

"I think this could be a good chance for us to get three points against their whole team because if we played in January they were without many players because they were committed at the African Cup [of Nations] and injuries. I think football is wonderful. Also this type of game it’s right to play with two teams and all the players available."

Mikel Arteta is chasing a top four spot with his Arsenal side
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Image:
Action Images via Reuters)


Will Tottenham Hotspur qualify for the Champions League this season? Let us know in the comments below!

Arsenal currently sit in pole position to qualify for the Champions League next season. The Gunners are fourth, four points above Tottenham ahead of the north London derby.

But a win for Conte's side will take them to within a point of their rivals with two matches to play. Arsenal travel to Newcastle United and host Everton, while Spurs face Burnley and Norwich City.

If Arsenal manage to win, they will secure Champions League football for the first time since the 2017/18 season. This is no doubt a huge game in the race for a top-four place.

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