outbreak at Fulham forced a second Premier League match this week to be called off on Wednesday, only hours before the team was due to play across London at Tottenham.
As the postponement decision was taken, the Premier League received a further blow from the government when
restrictions were further tightened across England, leaving no stadiums allowed any fans.
Liverpool and Everton, the last of the 10 clubs who started the month being allowed 2,000 spectators, will now have to play in empty stadiums again.
Two days after
cases in the Manchester City squad led to its game at Everton being postponed on Monday, Fulham told the Premier League it could not play Tottenham.
Fulham has had a significant rise in
cases and a number of players showing symptoms on Wednesday, according to a Premier League statement.
testing will now take place at the club.
The Premier League board has consulted its medical advisors and the decision to postpone the game has been taken as a precaution and with the health of players and staff as the priority,” the league said.
The Premier League on Tuesday reported its highest number of weekly positive cases: 18 after 1,479 tests on players and club staff from Dec. 21-27.
But Manchester City was able to resume first-team practice on Wednesday, two days after the training ground was closed, because new
testing revealed no new positive cases. Others, including players Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker, are continuing to isolate after contracting the
Safety remains our number one priority, and the club will continue to proceed with great caution, City said.
Across England, forms of lockdown are being re-imposed due to concerns about the spread of a more transmissible variant of
that the government disclosed details of two weeks ago.
More than 50,000 cases were reported in a single day for the first time on Tuesday, and the number of hospitalized
patients has surpassed the first peak of the outbreak in April.
But the league is resisting calls, including those from West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce, to suspend the competition as happened for 100 days from March to June last season during the first infection wave.
With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the Premier League continues to have full confidence in its
protocols and being able to continue to play our fixtures as scheduled,” the league said.
But the lack of clarity over how and when postponement calls are being reached has caused irritation among some clubs.
While waiting for a decision, Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho wrote a post on Instagram laced with sarcasm: Match at 6 pm… We still dont know if we play. Best league in the world.”
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