Arsenal Football Club has announced that its usual pre-season curtain-raiser, the Emirates Cup, will not be held in 2012, due to London’s hosting of the Olympic Games.

After consultation with the major London stakeholders and agencies, the Club has accepted that the Emirates Cup cannot take place during the same period in which the Olympic Games are being staged.

The London 2012 Olympics are being held in many venues across London between 27th July and 12th August. Due to the planned start of the 2012/2013 football season, the Emirates Cup could have only been held within this window of time.

Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis said: “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.”

Arsenal intend to hold the Emirates Cup as usual in 2013. Gazidis continued: “We are already planning ahead to bring three high profile clubs to Emirates Stadium for 2013.”

The Club also revealed it is exploring options for a pre-season tour next summer. Gazidis said: “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.”

All further developments regarding the Club’s pre-season activities will appear on and in all official Arsenal publications.

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6 Dec 2011