Arsenal to host Southampton behind closed doors as London moves to toughest Covid tier

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LONDON – Arsenal will host Southampton in Wednesday’s Premier League game behind closed doors after London was placed in the toughest tier of Covid-19 restrictions following a sharp rise in coronavirus infection rates.

Arsenal were among the 10 Premier League clubs who were allowed to welcome back 2,000 fans earlier this month when London was initially classified as falling into Tier 2 or high alert regions when a month-long national lockdown was lifted.

But the British government said on Monday that London was moved to Tier 3, citing an exponential rise in infection rates as one of the world’s richest cities struggles to contain the disease.

“We are disappointed to confirm that we are no longer able to welcome fans to Emirates Stadium for our Premier League fixture against Southampton on Wednesday, December 16,” Arsenal said in a statement.

“As it currently stands, we are unable to welcome fans to Emirates Stadium for subsequent upcoming fixtures and therefore will not run any ballots until further notice.”

Fulham’s home game against Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday has also been pushed behind closed doors, while West Ham United too will host Crystal Palace without spectators on the same day.

Reuters

7fd99f2d a195 5ce0 b3b0 e1dd87127de7&operation=CROP&offset=494x0&resize=1799x1800 - Arsenal to host Southampton behind closed doors as London moves to toughest Covid tier

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