Arteta wants rules to stop Premier League matches being called off last minute

Mikel Arteta has called for the Premier League to put extra rules in place to stop matches being called off at the last minute.

Arteta fears there will be even more positive tests after outbreaks at Manchester City and Fulham which saw their respective games at Everton and Tottenham both postponed with just hours to spare.

It left Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho fuming and he even took to social media to mock the Premier League's handling of the situation with frustration from Spurs and Everton that they were both kept in the dark and there are no set protocols for postponements.

Arsenal boss Arteta believes there should be clearer rules, earlier decisions on postponements and also thresholds on the number of cases needed for games to be called off as he believes club medics should now have an input on a fresh set of protocols.

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Arteta said: “I think in the last week something happened, the peak went up and a lot of new things happened that haven’t happened in recent months and that has to be addressed.

“We need another protocol, clear guidelines of what to do and what not to do and the timeline of course because we cannot be waiting until the last two hours [to find out] whether we are playing a football match or not.

“We should know a little bit earlier and at least have an open communication with the three parties, the two teams involved in the game and the Premier League and make a decision about what is right to do in that moment but with a little bit of time.

“I don’t know if it's possible because if there are players that get up that morning and they have some symptoms or fever it gets a little bit complicated when the game is at 8pm. There are still a lot of hours to do and decisions to make.

“I don’t know what’s the best way. I’m sure the doctors will find the best way. What is important again is that we have an open communication and if something is happening we should know early so we can get prepared.”

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