NEW YORK – NFL says teams are responsible for canceled games this coming season if a coronavirus outbreak occurs among unvaccinated players or staff – and that could result in forfeiture and loss if the game cannot be rescheduled .
In a note obtained by FOX television stations, the NFL upheld the decision.
“If a match cannot be rescheduled in the current 18-week schedule and is canceled due to an outbreak of Covid among unvaccinated players from one of the competing teams, the club with the outbreak will lose the competition. and will be deemed to have played 16 games for the purposes of drafting, priority for quitting, etc. For playoff standings, the losing team will be credited with a loss and the other team will be credited with a victory, ”NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in the memo Thursday.
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The note also states that if a match is postponed due to an outbreak among unvaccinated players, the club affected by the outbreak will be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by the opposing team and will also be required to pay any shortfalls. between actual and expected payment. Additionally, players from both teams will not receive their weekly salary if the match cannot be rescheduled.
“If a match is canceled / postponed because a club cannot play due to a peak in Covid among or resulting from its unvaccinated players / staff, then the burden of the cancellation or delay will fall on the victim club of Covid infection, ”Goodell continued.
In the four-page document, the commissioner said the NFL has no plans to add a “19th week” to accommodate games that cannot be rescheduled in the current 18 weeks of the regular season.
“The League will make all reasonable efforts, in accordance with the underlying principles of health and safety, to complete the full 272-game regular season in the current 18 weeks and all playoff games as scheduled, in a safe and responsible manner.” , indicates the memo.
Meanwhile, for those vaccinated who test positive for COVID-19, the NFL “will attempt to minimize the competitive and economic burden on the two participating teams.” The organization said rescheduling a postponed match will depend on health and safety advice from medical experts.
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The NFL said the guidelines are based on last season’s experience and follow discussions with a number of league committees, medical experts and outside advisers.
“As we learned last year, we can play a full season if we maintain a firm commitment to upholding our health and safety protocols and making the necessary adjustments in response to changing conditions,” the memo continued.
As of Thursday’s announcement, more than 75 percent of players were in the process of being vaccinated, and more than half of clubs have vaccination rates above 80 percent of their players.