As if the fixture congestion wasn’t bad enough before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s death, but now that Arsenal’s League clash with Everton and our Europa Group Game against PSV have both been postponed, it now creates a fixture nightmare for the Gunners until after the World Cup.
The Everton game can simply be moved until the end of the season, but the Europa games are more complicated, with UEFA rules regarding when games must be completed ahead of the draw for the next round.
Right now, the Gunners have to play every weekend and midweek from the international break right up until the players rejoin their national teams ahead of the World Cup, which is going to cause chaos for everyone when the injuries and suspensions kick in. Under UEFA regulations, Arsenal must find a new date to stage the PSV fixture or forfeit the game, as was the case with Tottenham in the Europa Conference League last season.
According to UEFA’s rules, all Europa games must be played on a Thursday, and they should, if rearranged, face no sanctions if Arsenal are able to play PSV before the group stage concludes on November 3.
The very best chance for Arsenal would be to rearrange the League game against Man City on October 19th until after the World Cup, which would fulfil every obligation if PSV and UEFA (and Man City) agree.
Otherwise I can’t really see them fitting the game in at all. There is one possibility that would save everyone the worry of course. If Arsenal win all four of their other Europa League Group games, they will be so far in front that they could forfeit the PSV game, and still go through as Group Winners.
That is not impossible, surely?
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