The U.S. state is experiencing a massive rise in new cases, causing the two clubs to scrap their pre-season plans at the last minute
Inter have joined Arsenal in withdrawing from the Florida Cup due to concerns over the current state of the coronavirus pandemic.
The two sides had been expected to clash in the pre-season tournament in the United States on July 25, at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium, but members of the Gunners’ travelling party have tested positive for Covid-19 and the Nerazzurri are now out of the competition as a precaution.
Neither team will travel across the Atlantic Ocean and must seek new friendly opposition ahead of the upcoming 2021-22 campaign.
What was said?
“FC Internazionale Milano announce that they will not be travelling to the USA for the Florida Cup due to the current risks involved in international travel as a result of the spread of the pandemic, risks that have already caused Arsenal F.C. to withdraw from participation,” the Nerazzurri signalled in a statement published on their official website on Wednesday .
“Following a small number of positive Covid tests among the planned party to travel to America tomorrow, we have sadly been forced to withdraw from the Florida Cup,” the club wrote in a statement late on Tuesday night,” the Gunners’ statement read.
“This difficult decision is based on ensuring the health and wellbeing of our players and staff.
“We fully understand what a disappointment this is for our supporters in America who were looking forward to seeing us compete in the Florida Cup as part of our pre-season build up.
“Our apologies also go to the organisers of the Florida Cup who had done a fantastic job making the preparations and our partners who had arranged events around our participation in the competition.
“We are glad to say the members of staff are not currently displaying any Covid symptoms. They are now in self-isolation at home.”
The bigger picture
Inter and Arsenal’s decision comes amid a significant uptick in cases in United States, with Florida among the worst-affected regions.
Driven by the Delta variant of Covid, the state reported over 45,000 positives in the week ending July 15, double the number of the previous seven days.
That number means Florida is suffering the highest number of infections in the entire country, with an estimated one in five new cases nationally originating in the state.