Fans’ fury as police force Arsenal game switch over safety fears

Featured image credit: Nelson Ndongala on Unsplash

Featured image credit: Nelson Ndongala on Unsplash

This month’s Premier League clash between Arsenal and Chelsea has been rescheduled after police claimed they could not guarantee safety at the previously agreed fixture.

The Emirates Stadium game was originally due to take place at 5.30pm on Saturday, April 29, but will now take place on Tuesday, May 2 at 8pm.

The Premier League said in a statement that the initial scheduling of the match was approved at a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) meeting in February. However, it said, the Metropolitan Police has now revised its position regarding the kick-off time and requested a further SAG meeting which determined the match had to be re-scheduled.

It has not been explained why the Metropolitan Police has revised its position over the timing of the game.

In a statement, Arsenal said: “We are very disappointed with the impact and disruption this fixture change will cause to our supporters, particularly after this match had been initially approved for a Saturday evening kick-off.”

In a joint statement, Arsenal Supporters Trust and Chelsea Supporters Trust said: “We are deeply disappointed that a confirmed fixture has been moved after both clubs, the broadcaster, the Safety Advisory Group, and the police had confirmed it. This is an insult to those supporters who are attending.”

Both supporters trusts now say they will take this matter up with the Premier League and Mayor of London.

“This decision will create a major inconvenience to supporters who will have already made travel and accommodation arrangements,” they said.