Arsenal pushed unsuccessfully for Thursday’s game against PSV Eindhoven to go ahead, and they may now need to postpone another match to fit it in.
Arsenal confirmed on Monday that their planned fixture against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday had been postponed. Despite an initial belief that the game would go ahead, policing concerns ended up leading to its postponement.
James Benge reports that Arsenal sources have been very clear that they wanted this game to go ahead. The same sources added that the prospect of a forfeit was not on the table in conversations with UEFA and PSV.
But the Gunners now have the difficult task of agreeing a new date for the game. Discussions are underway, but there doesn’t appear to be any room in the calendar for an extra fixture before the World Cup.
Unlike with the Premier League, where it doesn’t really matter if a game takes place in September or April, the Europa League has a strict time limit.
All group games obviously need to be done by the time the knockout stages come around, so Arsenal need to find some way to organise this fixture over the next couple of months.
Benge suggests postponing the Manchester City game on October 19th might be Arsenal’s only option. It’s a matchday when PSV don’t currently have a fixture, though it remains to be seen whether that changes as they progress in the domestic cup.
If Arsenal could play the match then, that would certainly help. As mentioned, it’s not so much of an issue if they need to reschedule a league game for later in the season.
Until a new date is agreed, fears will persist that Arsenal might end up having to forfeit the match – against a key contender for the top spot in the group.