Premier League to meet as Covid wrecks havoc with weekend fixture list

Source: Xinhua| 2021-12-19 09:12:02|Editor: huaxia

LONDON, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Premier League clubs are expected to meet on Monday to discuss whether or not the competition should continue or take a break after a weekend in which six of the 10 scheduled matches have had to be postponed due to outbreaks of Covid-19 at several clubs.

Saturday's match between Burnley and Aston Villa was the latest to fall victim to the virus and was cancelled just two and a half hours before the scheduled 15:00 hours kick off after further cases of the virus among the visitors' squad.

"After reviewing all the new information provided by Aston Villa this morning and receiving separate medical advice, the board approved the request as a result of the club not having enough players to field a team. This decision was based on the number of Covid-19 cases, injuries and illness," explained a statement issued by the Premier League.

Matches between Manchester United and Brighton, Southampton and Brentford, Watford and Crystal Palace, West Ham and Norwich and Everton and Leicester had all previously fallen by the wayside because of outbreaks at various clubs.

Meanwhile the matches between Newcastle United and Manchester City, Wolves and Chelsea, as well as Tottenham and Liverpool are still scheduled for Sunday, although with Liverpool and Chelsea also reporting cases of Covid-19, there is still time for that to change.

"The board assesses applications to postpone matches on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and Covid-19 postponement guidance issued to all clubs."

"It will assess a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of the Covid-19 outbreak at the club; and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match. The board must also consider the wider risks to the opposition and other people the club representatives may come into contact with," said the Premier League, who added that new protocols, which include "more frequent testing, wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing and limiting treatment time," have all introduced.

In Saturday's surviving game Arsenal piled the pain onto Leeds United with a 4-1 win in Elland Road.

The game was as good as over at halftime as two goals from Gabriel Martinelli and one from Bukayo Sako put Arsenal 3-0 up and although Raphinha scored a 75th minute penalty for Leeds, Emile Smith Rowe rounded off a good afternoon for Arsenal with five minutes left to play.

Next weekend is one of the most important of the Premier League, with the traditional Boxing Day games quickly followed by a midweek game and a round of New Year fixtures. Enditem

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