FOOTBALL’s Covid crisis is spiraling out of control.
Burnley’s Premier League home game against Watford was called off last night less than THREE hours before kick-off – after an outburst in the Hornets.
Three Championship games scheduled for Saturday – Reading v Luton, Millwall against Preston and Swansea’s trip to QPR – have been postponed.
And the Prem chiefs also rejected requests from other top clubs for furniture repairs this week.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is sniffing that tonight’s home clash with Tottenham NOT to be shortened – even accusing League bosses of showing favoritism towards bigger clubs.
On the day the UK recorded its highest daily number of Covid cases – 78,610 – since the start of the pandemic, several other Prem games this weekend are under threat.
And there are serious concerns that this could wipe out the festival program, sending the sport into crisis.
Watford’s home clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday is suspected as a result of last night’s Turf Moor cancellation – due to the high number of first-team players involved.
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Manchester United, match against Brentford has been postponed for Monday night, still negotiating with Prem host Brighton on the weekend.
It is believed that the Red Devils were 19 positive cases between players and staff, forced the closure of their Carrington Headquarters on Tuesday.
According to Federation rules, matches will be held unless clubs have fewer than 14 first-team players. But exceptions are made, including not having a suitable holder.
The Premier League leadership makes the final decision, with each call on a ‘case-by-case’ basis.
Norwich – United’s rivals last Saturday – now have concerns about their trip to West Ham.
Rodgers’ Foxes is without a NINE first team due to Covid and injury – and no recognized centre-back.
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But Prem turned down their offer to have today’s clash with Spurs.
When asked about bias, Rodgers said: “You’re on the right track.
“For the integrity of the competition it’s very important but I’m pretty sure the games will be postponed when the teams have fewer players than we have.
“We haven’t been given that privilege, so it would be nice if there was more clarity on that.”
Rodgers also believes Tottenham have the upper hand as their match against Brighton took place last weekend. He added: “One hundred percent, yes.”
Spurs boss Antonio Conte, who also watched last Thursday’s Europa Conference League game against Rennes postponed due to the virus in their camp, is concerned it could be weeks before his side return back to normal.
Conte said it would be ‘strange’ to face Covid-hit Leicester, despite Tottenham having 16 players in training yesterday.
We are having problems after Covid
The Italian added: “We have to do what the Premier League tells us. Last week, I was very disappointed and worried when there were players with Covid. We don’t have any players with Covid right now – but we’re having post-Covid problems.
“The problem is how Covid affects your body and we definitely have to be very careful to have the right training sessions. The players need some time to recover and get in good shape.
“You have to go slowly, because you run the risk of having players injured after the Covid game.”
On Tuesday night, Norwich head coach Dean Smith called on the Premier League to provide more clarity on what causes a match to be postponed.
Winger Christos Tzolis missed the 0-2 defeat to Aston Villa, while the Canaries today should discover if their squad is doomed.
Prem released a statement on the postponement of Burnley’s game – the third top-flight game postponed due to the coronavirus last week – with the decision being made after Watford fans traveled.
It read: “It is with regret that the Premier League leadership has postponed Burnley’s home game against Watford.
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“The decision was made on the advice of medical advisors due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak in Watford’s squad. As a result, the club did not have enough first team players to complete the match.
“The Premier League understands that this decision will disappoint and disappoint the fans present at tonight’s game and apologizes for the inconvenience and disruption caused in such a short time.
“Each decision is made on a case-by-case basis, with everyone’s health being of paramount importance.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/premier-league/4281008/football-covid-fears-christmas-schedule/ Football’s Covid crisis is spiraling out of control with growing concerns. Christmas schedule may be DELETED