The soccer community in Florida is in for a treat as the Florida Cup 2021 is getting close. Two significant teams, however, withdrew from the tournament due to the pandemic. Both Arsenal and Inter Milan have decided to step down due to a situation that's beyond anyone's control.
That still leaves two big clubs in contention for the trophy, as both Everton and Millonarios remain on board for the preseason competition. The tournament, to be held in Orlando, was originally expecting to see Arsenal vs. Inter in the semifinals on Sunday, July 25, before the Toffees' meeting with the Colombians.
Then again, the Covid-19 pandemic continues having an impact on the world and this time was not the exception. Two overseas teams decided that they weren't ready to travel and participate in the upcoming Florida Cup.
Arsenal and Inter step down from Florida Cup 2021
The stage was set for two mouth-watering matches in the seventh edition of the Florida Cup, but the pandemic changed those plans. Arsenal have announced they were stepping down from the preseason tournament after some of their members tested positive to Covid.
The club's statement in www.arsenal.com read: "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.
"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."
Arsenal's situation has certainly had an impact on Inter Milan, who have also decided to withdraw after the Gunners' announcement: "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."
For now, Everton and Millonarios of Colombia are still on board to bring the soccer community in Florida an entertaining matchup as the Toffees get ready for the 2021/22 season, while the Colombian giants fancy the chance of testing themselves against a Premier League club.