Tottenham’s home game against Fulham was postponed on Wednesday after a coronavirus outbreak at the visiting club, but the Premier League said they had ‘full confidence’ matches could continue despite an increase in the number of cases at national scale.
Fulham returned a number of positive test results on Tuesday and, with a number of players showing symptoms on Wednesday, the Premier League decided to call off the game just three hours before the scheduled kick-off at 18:00 GMT.
This is the third top-flight game to be wiped out by the virus, following Newcastle’s game against Aston Villa earlier this month and Monday’s game between Everton and Manchester City.
The move comes after the Premier League announced on Tuesday that there had been 18 positive tests, a season high, in their last round of testing in the competition, already squeezed due to the late start to the season.
Britain is grappling with another outbreak of the virus. More than 71,000 people who tested positive for the disease have now died – one of the worst toll in the world.
After Manchester City’s trip to Everton was postponed on Monday due to a Covid epidemic in Pep Guardiola’s team, the five matches scheduled for Tuesday have been played.
But Scott Parker’s Fulham has called for their Tottenham Hotspur Stadium match to be canceled, which the Premier League board sanctioned on Wednesday.
The entire Cottagers team will now be tested again.
A statement from Tottenham said: “We can confirm that our Premier League home game against Fulham, scheduled for tonight, has been postponed. ”
– Frustration de Mourinho –
It is understood that Spurs are unhappy with the decision and the timing. There had been speculation throughout the day that the game could be called off and manager Jose Mourinho indicated his frustration in an Instagram post shortly after 2:00 p.m. GMT.
Mourinho posted a video on his account of his staff awaiting news with a message that read: “We still don’t know if we are playing. Best league in the world. ”
The Premier League have confirmed that the decision to postpone the game was taken following a meeting.
“Fulham has filed a request with the Premier League board to revamp the game after a significant increase in positive Covid-19 cases, as well as a number of players showing symptoms today,” a- he said in a statement.
“The Premier League board has consulted its medical advisers and the decision to postpone the game was taken as a precaution and with the health of the players and staff as a priority. The group will now be retested immediately. ”
West Brom boss Sam Allardyce expressed his support for a Premier League ‘breaker’ on Tuesday.
But Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side beat Wolves to second in the table, called for the competition to continue.
Despite the growing number of cases in the English top flight, the Premier League has said it intends to continue playing.
“With a low number of positive tests in the overwhelming majority of clubs, the Premier League continues to have full confidence in its Covid-19 protocols and to be able to continue playing our matches as planned,” added his statement.
Fulham confirmed that the postponement of their game against Spurs followed “a number of club players and first-team staff returning positive results from the latest Covid-19 tests this week”.
He added: “This decision follows discussions with the Premier League and advice from Public Health England. ”
Premier League leaders Liverpool are due to travel to Newcastle for Wednesday’s late game.
© 2020 AFP