Tuesday, January 19

FA will not discipline Arsenal’s women’s trio for their trip to Dubai in tier 4 | Football

The Football Association will not take action against three Arsenal players who, without the club’s approval, flew to Dubai over the Christmas period while London was under level 4 lock down rules.

Since returning from the United Arab Emirates, an unidentified player has tested positive for Covid-19 and Joe Montenegro’s team has asked the Football Association to postpone their Women’s Super League match at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Manchester City’s home game against West Ham is also in doubt on Saturday after four City players tested positive for the virus after spending the festive period in Dubai.

Although only one player from Arsenal’s first team has tested positive, several members of Joe Montenegro’s team live in shared accommodation and it is understood that some players have been forced to isolate themselves.

The Arsenal trio, understood like all internationals, did not inform club officials of their travel plans when the WSL stopped for their holiday break, but told executives it was a business trip and allowed according to the rules of level 4.

Arsenal are believed to have accepted the trio’s explanations, but “reminded them of their responsibilities”, while several teammates are furious at the interruption caused by the three.

Given that the WSL does not have contractual rules prohibiting players from traveling abroad during the pandemic and that the league was on a midseason hiatus, the FA is unwilling to intervene and, in any case, prefers to let the clubs control their activities. Personal in such matters.

The Arsenal players’ outing might have gone unnoticed if Montenegro’s Republic of Ireland international Katie McCabe hadn’t posted Instagram pictures of herself in a bikini on a beach, basking in the Gulf sun with a glass on the beach. Hand. McCabe later said that he had flown to the United Arab Emirates to meet with his agent.

Ian Wright, a former Arsenal forward, has used social media to say that it would be unfair for a Villa team to postpone three WSL games due to the coronavirus if the game does not go ahead. “Why should Villa be punished, play the game,” Wright tweeted.

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The Manchester City quartet traveled, also apparently for commercial reasons, with the club’s consent. At the time, Manchester was at level 3, with overseas travel to “countries with air corridors” such as the United Arab Emirates allowed but not advised.

Although WSL players are routinely tested for Covid once a week, City is testing Gareth Taylor’s gear every 48 hours and has told the FA that West Ham’s game may have to be postponed. .

The FA will decide if any postponement is necessary in the next 48 hours. Despite Pep Guardiola’s men’s team being in the grip of a Covid outbreak, the men’s and women’s teams at the Etihad Campus do not share facilities and there is cautious optimism that the problem within Taylor’s team may have been contained.

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