The Premier League will not be suspending it’s winter schedule over rising COVID-19 cases, as per Mike Keegan. The decision was made after all 20 clubs met in a crisis meeting on Monday afternoon.
Premier League Decide Against Suspension
Decision Comes After Meeting
After a meeting on Monday afternoon, clubs have decided to fulfil their winter-period fixtures despite the recent postponement of matches. Only four Premier League games occurred on Matchday 18, with the remaining six being postponed due to numerous coronavirus cases. Following the meeting, clubs have been told that “13 outfield players + keeper is enough to avoid postponement. Should figure be less, U21s who have first team experience HAVE to step in”, says Mike Keegan.
Prior to the meeting on Monday, there were discussions regarding the postponement of Matchday 20 on the 28-30th December.
The Premier League had earlier reinstated emergency health protocols which involved daily covid testing as a response to rising cases. According to sources, the league insisted that “non-first-team matches, such as U23 games, should not be scheduled a short-time before a Premier League fixture to ensure the most players are available as possible. ”
Festive Football is Here to Stay in the Premier League
The Christmas period is iconic in English football and will be in full swing this year. The high paced, busy schedule makes the Premier League so unique compared to other European leagues. Despite the announcement on Monday afternoon, the Premier League will review the situation in two weeks time, meaning a potential suspension is still on the cards. In the meantime, a busy schedule awaits the clubs.
Numerous managers from clubs have expressed their discontent with the current situation. Chelsea were told to face Wolves on Sunday despite seven confirmed COVID-19 cases at the club.
Clubs stated that fans should be present at the game, however as per Henry Winter; “Behind closed doors sadly looking increasingly likely even with @premierleague clubs determined to play on over festive period… Decision could be taken out of clubs’ hands by Government.”
It is also reported that the FA have removed replays from the 3rd and 4th round of the FA Cup, meaning that games will go to extra-time & penalties. This measure may be seen as precautionary due to the amount of fixtures that may need rescheduling.
Embed from Getty Images