Crystal Palace’s trip to Tottenham on Boxing Day is to go ahead despite a number of Covid-19 cases among the Eagles’ squad and staff, including for manager Patrick Vieira.
It was reported on Christmas Day that the match was set to be postponed. However, The Athletic report that an official request to the Premier League was not made until the early hours of Sunday following a number of positive tests for backroom staff.
Palace‘s players have gathered before the match to undergo further tests, but as confirmed by Tottenham Hotspur and the south London club, the match is to go ahead. The Daily Mail add that the Premier League was not satisfied with the late request for a postponement.
The Eagles revealed after the announcement that Vieira will not be in the dugout for the visitors having tested positive for Covid-19 himself.
The Eagles’ squad was told to stay at home rather than travel to their team hotel on Christmas Day after positive cases among Vieira’s backroom staff.
In his press conference, Vieira said: “We hope we’re going to be okay [to face Spurs] but when you’re looking at the number of cases around we start to be worried.
“We had a couple of cases in our football club in the last couple of days. We try our best to prevent the situation but it is worrying because the evolution for the next couple of days we don’t know how it will go.
“I’m not worried about the players’ welfare regarding the [frequency of] games during this period because it’s been like that for years and years. I’m worried about their welfare regarding COVID. Players coming back from the COVID situation and asking them to play with not enough training is a lot on them.”
Both Palace and Tottenham already have games to make up due to postponements. Spurs are three games behind having had their fixtures with Burnley, Brighton and Leicester pushed back, while Palace weren’t able to face Watford in the last round of Premier League matches.