Arsenal's pre-match preparations ahead of their Champions League group stage clash with RC Lens have been severely affected by a delay to their flight to France. The Gunners were due to take off at 4:15pm UK time but have been waiting in the airport terminal for nearly four hours due to stormy conditions in near Luton Airport.
The north London outfit had trained earlier in the day at 11am at London Colney. They then arrived at the terminal in Luton at 3:30pm with the aim of taking off at 4:15pm. Mikel Arteta had been due to speak to the press at 7pm French time alongside William Saliba. However, the press conference had to be cancelledforcing the Spaniard to conduct his pre-match press duties by phone.
Arsenal will avoid being fined by UEFA despite breaking a Champions League rule with regard to the official press conference on the eve of their Group B clash against RC Lens, however. As per Article 73 of UEFA regulations, the Gunners are bound to hold a press conference between noon and 8pm the day before a match.
«Each club must hold a pre-match press conference the day before the match,» the guidelines state. «Each press conference must be attended by the head coach of the team and at least one player. If the head coach is suspended for the match, clubs have the option of replacing him at the pre-match press conference with the assistant coach.
»The two press conferences must be arranged by the two clubs and UEFA together, so that the media can attend both. Press conferences must start between 12.00 and 20.00 local time. Exceptions to these timings must be agreed in advance with UEFA. Press conferences may be broadcast live regardless of location, and clubs must provide facilities for such live broadcasts, including cableRead on football.london