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London (AFP) – Burnley’s match at home to Everton on December 26 has become the latest Premier League fixture to be postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak, it was announced Friday.
Covid-19 cases within the Everton camp had seen the Merseysiders request a postponement on Thursday.
But that initial plea was rejected despite Everton manager Rafael Benitez saying he only had nine fit outfield players at his disposal for the fixture on Boxing Day, traditionally one of the busiest days in the English football calendar.
Everton, however, said Friday that the game had been called off, with a club statement saying: “Our Premier League fixture at Burnley on Boxing Day has been postponed due to the number of COVID cases and injuries in our squad.”
The Premier League added it had taken the “regrettable” decision to postpone the game following a board meeting on Friday.
“The board reviewed the club’s request today to postpone the match following further injuries to their squad.
“They concluded that the club will not be able to fulfil their fixture this weekend as a result of an insufficient number of players available to play due to Covid-19 cases and injuries.”
Liverpool’s clash with Leeds and Watford’s trip to Wolves, also scheduled for Sunday, had already been postponed due to coronavirus outbreaks on Thursday.
A total of 13 matches have now been called off in the past two weeks as Britain battles record numbers of positive Covid cases due to the Omicron variant of the virus.
Earlier this week, Premier League clubs rejected the option of temporarily halting the season to allow a circuit breaker for infections.
© 2021 AFP