Chelsea request to postpone Wolves match amid Covid outbreak rejected by Premier League – Goal.com

The Blues wanted the match called off but have been told to play with 19 registered senior players available

Chelsea have seen their bid to postpone the match away at Wolves rejected by the Premier League.

After a series of Covid tests at between 9am and 10am on Sunday morning, the Blues confirmed three further positive cases within their camp.

This is on top of the four positives that impacted their preparation to face Everton.

What has been said?

A Chelsea spokesperson said: “We are deeply disappointed that our application was rejected, as we felt we had a strong case for the postponement of today‘s match on the grounds of players’ health and safety.”

Speaking to BBC Sport, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said they were “disappointed and angry” not to have had the game called off, saying he could not understand the Premier League’s approach.

He said: “We thought we had a strong case regarding the security and health of players, we have seven positive cases, we were made to be in the bus and travel together for three hours, were in meeting together, in dinner and lunch and the situation does not feel like it will stop.

“We applied to not play and put the situation under control and it was rejected. It is very hard to understand it, we are concerned about the health of the players. We end up with players who play coming from injuries and we take the risk.

“I am worried from a medical point of view, we have had four days of consecutive tests. How will it stop if we are in a bus together and in meetings? We are disappointed, we are a bit angry.”

Which Chelsea players have Covid?

Thomas Tuchel has disclosed Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi have coronavirus, forcing them to isolate for 10 days.

Ben Chilwell also has the disease which is hitting the UK in record breaking numbers each day, since the discovery of the new and more transmissible Omicron variant. However, the full-back was already out with a long-term knee injury.

Furthermore, there are three further cases in the squad that GOAL has chosen not to disclose for medical privacy reasons until it is made official by the west Londoners.

Mateo Kovacic has returned from having coronavirus and will be available for selection for the first time in six weeks at Molineux.

With seven or eight players understood to be out with Covid and no academy players having travelled, GOAL can reveal Tuchel could have just four outfield players among his substitutes.

Why wasn’t this game postponed?

The Premier League decide whether clubs have enough reason to cancel matches on a case by case basis as evidence is provided.

Clubs like Chelsea are doing daily testing every morning to protect the competition from more cancellations. Ahead of the matches, evidence is presented to the League, amid reintroduced emergency measures.

The Blues are known to have 19 senior registered players available. However, players like Lewis Baker, Malang Sarr and Ross Barkley are among those considered fringe options at Stamford Bridge.

The Premier League cancelled Aston Villa vs Burnley just two hours and 15 minutes before kick-off, having already called off Manchester United vs Brighton, Southampton vs Brentford, Watford vs Crystal Palace, West Ham vs Norwich and Everton vs Leicester City this weekend.

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