Aston Villa’s home game with Burnley was postponed shortly before kick-off on Saturday following a coronavirus outbreak in the Villa camp, leaving just one Premier League game that day. Only four games will be played out of the original 10 this weekend, with the growing Covid-19 crisis wreaking havoc during the busiest time on the English football calendar. “Due to more positive cases in the Aston Villa team today, the Premier League board has unfortunately had to postpone the club’s home game against Burnley due to the kick-off this afternoon at 3pm (1500 GMT) in a statement.
“After reviewing all the new information provided by Aston Villa this morning and receiving separate medical advice, the board approved the request as the club did not have enough players to set up a team.”
Villa, managed by Steven Gerrard, acknowledged and apologized for the late postponement, which came just over two hours before the match was due to start, but said they acted as quickly as possible.
A club statement read: “The results of PCR tests, taken yesterday prior to training, as well as lateral flow tests, were received this morning and confirmed a further depletion of our squad already hit for our midweek trip to Norwich. .
“All individuals who tested positive are now in isolation in accordance with Premier League and government guidelines and protocols.”
The UK government reported 93,045 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, a third consecutive daily record high, as the Omicron variant fuels a wave of infections across the country.
Premier League clubs will meet on Monday to discuss what action to take, with a busy schedule of games over the Christmas and New Year period.
Some managers have expressed concerns about potential damage to the integrity of the league, with teams lacking key players and some training grounds closed.
League-leader Manchester City, which travels to the ailing Newcastle on Sunday, has already played three more games than Tottenham.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank this week called for a game suspension to “break the chain of infection”, while Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp said it could soon become impossible to maintain the schedule as squads became overloaded with absences and injuries from covid.
The Premier League’s stance has been that the games will continue if it is safe to host them and the remaining four games to be played this weekend should currently go on, starting with Leeds’ home game against Arsenal in form on Saturday at 1730 GMT.
Three games are scheduled for Sunday: City’s clash with Newcastle, Wolves – Chelsea and Tottenham – Liverpool.
The English Football League, which includes the three divisions under the Premier League, has also been hit by a series of postponements, with 19 of 36 games canceled due to the coronavirus.
Topics mentioned in this article