When can Arsenal play the rearranged game against PSV or will they forfeit?

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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  1. Forfeiting is not a real option. Looked at purely through an Arsenal prism it might look that way, but imagine if you’re Bodo and you finish 3rd behind PSV by 3 points or less…

    If PSV had lost to Arsenal at the Emirates then Bodo would finish 2nd. Same applies to other possible outcomes that could make a difference as to who finishes 2nd/3rd.

    There will be all sorts of legal wrangles if that happened.

    Delaying matches beyond the WC is also bad – the glut of fixtures at a time when players are tired from an extra-long season is bad enough, but the fixtures will (hopefully) be getting harder as well (last 16 of EL, latter stages of cups).

    These pathetic cancellations will be a big disadvantage to London-based clubs in the long run, us more than anyone. Clubs in other cities can play their schedule with only one cancellation.

    One possibility is for us to ask for a force majeure ruling by UEFA – allow us to look at the table on Nov 3rd and if Arsenal v PSV would make no difference then cancel it – if it could possibly make a difference, allow it to go ahead a few days late.

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