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Premier League clubs to play on despite Covid-19 surge

Ten games have been postponed this month due to outbreaks amid a busy schedule
Representational image.
Representational image.
File Photo.

Reuters   |   Published 21.12.21, 01:30 AM

Premier League clubs have agreed to continue playing games scheduled over the festive period despite several fixtures being postponed due to a surge in Covid-19 cases, the League announced after a meeting between all teams on Monday.

Ten Premier League games have been postponed this month due to outbreaks amid a busy schedule where teams are set to play three times between Boxing Day and January 3.

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Only four of this weekend’s 10 fixtures were played after teams told the Premier League they were missing players due to Covid-19.

 “While recognising a number of clubs are experiencing Covid-19 outbreaks and challenges, it is the League’s collective intention to continue the current fixture schedule where safely possible,” the Premier League said.

 “A range of issues were discussed at this afternoon’s meeting, including the adaption of the Premier League Covid-19 postponement process in response to the impact of the Omicron variant.

 “The League also confirmed to its clubs today that 92 per cent of players and club staff have received one, two or three Covid-19 vaccination doses, with 84 per cent of players on the vaccination journey.”

 The Premier League only grants a postponement if a club has fewer than 14 players available, with the board examining requests on a case-by-case basis.

England’s Football Association (FA) said FA Cup replays in rounds three and four have been scrapped to help clear the fixture backlog after several postponements.

 “Ties in the third and fourth rounds of this season’s competition will be played to a finish on the day, with extra-time and penalties if required,” the FA said.  However, the English Football League (EFL), which also organises the League Cup, said its fixtures will be played as scheduled.

“While the League acknowledges there will likely be future postponements, there is optimism that disruption can be minimised following implementation of RED protocols, a daily testing regime and ongoing vaccination rollout,” the EFL said.



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