The League One fixture between Sunderland and Accrington Stanley has been suspended due to a coronavirus outbreak. The club’s official website confirmed that the fixture, scheduled for December 29, will not go ahead.
Sunderland Trip to Accrington Stanley Called Off
It said: “Due to the scale of this outbreak and the volume of positive tests returned by players and staff, the club has taken the decision to postpone the game based solely on the health and wellbeing of all affected.”
Sunderland’s next expected game is now on Saturday, January 2nd at Northampton Town in League One. However; due to the ongoing situation, there are currently no guarantees that this game will go ahead.
EFL Statement on Sunderland Fixture at Accrington Stanley and Impending Investigation
The English Football League also issued a statement which included their intent to investigate the situation. The statement was issued via their official Twitter account.
— EFL Communications (@EFL_Comms) December 27, 2020
Thirteen Players Test Positive
With a number of these players only able to rejoin the squad on the day of the Accrington game, it was decided that the game should be suspended.
The Black Cats have not played since the 15th of December. The day the outbreak was announced. On that day the club requested the game against AFC Wimbledon to be called off; however, an agreement not with the EFL could not be reached.
The game went ahead with Lee Johnson having to select a team without the services of eight first-team players. Several players carrying knocks and youngsters who had played just 24 hours beforehand were forced into action.
Fourth Game to be Suspended
Sunderland originally suspended their next three games following the outbreak; however, the Accrington game will make it four games that the Black Cats have been unable to fulfil.
These postponements have seen Lee Johnson’s team fall to 11th in League One. Fixture congestion is now set to test Johnson’s squad as they look to end their stay in League One and return to the Championship.