The Emirates Cup, Arsenal’s traditional pre-season curtain-raiser, will not take place next year due to the London 2012 Olympics.
Although the Emirates Stadium has not been selected as one of the six venues to host the Games’ football, the logistics of organising the tournament during the two-week Olympic window have been deemed unworkable.
A statement by Ivan Gazidis underlines the reason for the decision:
“Although we are disappointed that we cannot stage the Emirates Cup in 2012, we completely understand and accept the situation.
“Over 100,000 people have attended the Emirates Cup each year since we introduced the competition in 2007, and this would have only added to the demands on London’s infrastructure during the Olympics. Of course, we would have preferred the Emirates Cup to have been staged in 2012, but we completely respect the situation and like everyone, are fully supportive of, and looking forward to a successful London 2012 Olympic Games.”
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will take the tournament on the road next year to help fill the financial void, although the club have confirmed that it will return ahead of the 2013/14 season.
“We are already planning ahead to bring three high profile clubs to Emirates Stadium for 2013.
“After the success of our Far East tour in July 2011, we are looking at a number of options. The calendar is complex but we hope to be able to confirm our plans soon.”
Arsene Wenger will no doubt be stocking up on Neurofen as next summer approaches. Many of his squad will likely spend the summer in Ukraine and Poland on international duty at Euro 2012, while others have been pinpointed as possible candidates for their respective Olympic football teams.