Soccer-Arsenal cancel pre-season U.S. tour due to COVID-19 cases

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(Reuters) -Arsenal have cancelled their pre-season tour to the United States after a small number of positive COVID-19 cases at the club, the team said on Tuesday.

Arsenal were planning to participate in this month's Florida Cup alongside fellow Premier League team Everton, Serie A champions Inter Milan and Colombian outfit Millonarios.

"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," Arsenal said on their Twitter account.

"This difficult decision is based on ensuring the health and wellbeing of our players and staff."

The London side were scheduled to take on Inter on Sunday, with the winner facing the victor in Everton's game against Millonarios on July 28.

Everton, meanwhile, said midfielder Fabian Delph will not travel with the team's squad to Orlando "as a precautionary measure after coming into contact with someone who has since tested positive for COVID-19".

Delph will resume his pre-season training as soon as his period of self-isolation ends, the Merseyside club said in a statement https://www.evertonfc.com/news/2194052/delph-to-miss-usa-trip-to-self-isolate.

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal started their pre-season preparations in Scotland and played two games, losing 2-1 to Hibernian and drawing 2-2 with Rangers.

Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League last season and begin their 2021-22 campaign at promoted Brentford on Aug. 13.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis and Richard Pullin)