CM – The Premier League game plan takes another hit amid growing virus concerns


England continued to be the most disturbed of the major football countries in Europe, reflecting the growing health emergency in the UK as the Omicron variant spreads.

Published: December 19, 2021 11:37 AM |

Last updated: December 19, 2021 11:37 am

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A program vendor brings her booth back towards the stadium after it was revealed that the Aston Villa v Burnley game at Villa Park in Birmingham has been postponed, December 18, 2021. (Photo | AP)

LONDON: The English Premier League fixture list hit by the pandemic continued to be hit on Saturday as a COVID-19 outbreak on Aston Villa’s squad triggered the postponement of the Burnley game and the number of Games in the round reduced to four.

England remained the most disturbed of the major football countries in Europe, reflecting the growing health emergency in the UK as the Omicron variant spreads.

The Premier League schedule was so exhausted that there was only one game on Saturday – Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Leeds. That was played despite Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta saying there had been more coronavirus cases among the club’s players and staff.

Villa-Burnley was supposed to be the other game but it was canceled about two hours before kick-off , with Villa telling the league that after further positive tests on their squad reported early Saturday, they did not have enough players to field a team.

The league approved Villa’s request to « open the game. » based on the number of COVID-19 cases, injuries and illnesses « .

Five games scheduled for this weekend had already been canceled due to coronavirus outbreaks in squads.

The league announced that the Games scheduled for Sunday – Newcastle-Manchester City, Wolverhampton-Chelsea and Tottenham-Liverpool – « should currently run as planned ».

The total number of games postponed last week is 10. In the entire past season On only six games were canceled due to the coronavirus.

Burnley has postponed two games on the day of the game in the last four days. The home game against Watford was also canceled a few hours before kick-off on Wednesday.

Many Burnley fans would have traveled to Villa Park when the postponement was announced and Villa apologized for the inconvenience, saying the club had  » acted as soon as possible this morning to minimize interference ”.

“ The results of the PCR tests performed yesterday before training, as well as the lateral flow tests were received this morning, ”Villa said in one Declaration, « and confirmed a further exhaustion of our squad already affected for our trip. » In the middle of the week to Norwich. « 

The managers of the Premier League will meet on Monday to discuss the COVID-19 situation, whereby some managers – like Brentford’s Thomas Frank – are advocating stoppage of play to reduce the outbreaks, and others say games should continue.

The league already has emergency measures in place such as more frequent e Testing and indoor face mask wear reintroduced. Its board of directors will evaluate requests to postpone games on a case-by-case basis and « based on the existing rules and guidelines for postponing COVID-19 issued to all clubs. »

All Bundesliga and second division games of the weekend took place in Germany as planned, albeit with few or no fans. The country’s coronavirus infection rate fell again on Saturday according to the latest registered figures from the Robert Koch Institute and has gradually continued over the past three weeks.

The French Cup games took place as planned and the games of the Serie A took place as planned with 75% capacity in the stadiums.

The Spanish league continued to play despite an outbreak that sidelined several Real Madrid players. The authorities have allowed the football stadiums to run at full capacity since the end of September.

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