Arsenal will not host the Emirates Cup in 2012 due to the London Olympic Games, says chief executive Ivan Gazidis

Traditional pre-season tournament will not be held next summer due to the demands already placed upon the capital's infrastructure, with a Far East tour a potential alternative
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has confirmed that the club will not stage the pre-season Emirates Cup tournament in 2012 because of the London Olympics.

The club has decided that it would be best not to exacerbate what is certain to be a testing period for the city’s infrastructure, with the Games running between July 27 and August 12, the window in which the Gunners would normally host their now-traditional competition.

“Although we are disappointed that we cannot stage the Emirates Cup in 2012, we completely understand and accept the situation,” Gazidis told reporters.

“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.

“We are already planning ahead to bring three high-profile clubs to the Emirates Stadium for 2013.”

Gazidis refused to rule out an overseas tour during the summer being organised instead, after Arsenal made their first major excursion to the Far East in the 2011 close-season.

He added: “We are looking at a number of options. The calendar is complex, but we hope to be able to confirm our plans soon.”