Coronavirus postponements: What is the Premier League policy and will it change in response to criticism?

A complete of 20 Premier League matches have been known as off for Covid-19 associated causes this season, with the league and some golf equipment taking criticism in current weeks. Why has it bought to this stage, and does one thing want to change?

What’s inflicting the controversy?

The credibility of sure matches has been known as into query all through the season, relationship again to Arsenal’s opening-night defeat to Brentford again in August when Mikel Arteta mentioned he was “surprised” the recreation was allowed to go forward regardless of 4 optimistic Covid-19 circumstances in his squad.

Fast ahead 5 months, the Gunners bought their want in opposition to Tottenham on Sunday with the north London derby postponed with barely 24 hours’ discover following an official request and accompanying press launch from Arsenal, in which the membership blamed accidents, Covid-19 and AFCON worldwide obligation for his or her enchantment to name the recreation off.

Spurs had been much less sympathetic, and in an announcement of their very own mentioned they had been “extremely surprised” the request had been granted and that the league was dealing with the “unintended consequences” of its Covid policy.

Arsenal are removed from the first, and unlikely to be the final, staff to search a postponement this season, nevertheless. Others have been criticised, whereas, conversely, some groups have turned on the Premier League after seeing their very own requests turned down.

The rescheduling of the north London derby brings the whole variety of video games known as off due to coronavirus to 20 throughout the season. Several of these have been given the chop at only some hours’ discover, in some circumstances leaving followers out of pocket and dealing with lengthy journeys dwelling, equivalent to Watford’s postponed recreation at Burnley in December, which was known as off lower than three hours forward of kick-off.

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It already dangers making a fixture backlog in the second half of the season and additional accusations of groups requesting postponements out of want, relatively than necessity – so does something want to change?

Also See:

  • Burnley ask for Watford postponement
  • Which Premier League video games have been known as off?
  • Get Sky Sports
  • Premier League fixtures

What is the Premier League’s stance on Covid postponements?

Since the begin of the season, the Premier League has operated on the foundation that, in its personal phrases: “where a club cannot field 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper either from its squad list or its appropriately experienced U21 players, the match will be postponed”.

That has seen various requests turned down in consequence – with Tottenham, Chelsea and Brighton amongst these denied by the officiating Premier League board, made up of chairman Gary Hoffman, CEO Richard Masters and non-executive administrators Kevin Beeston, Mai Fyfield and Dharmash Mistry.

Premier League steering in full

“The Board will take into account the following principal elements when making a call:

1) The influence of COVID-19 infections on a membership’s squad, in addition to accidents, sickness and these isolating, and the variety of gamers obtainable on the squad checklist and any Under-21 gamers with applicable expertise. Where a membership can’t subject 13 outfield gamers and a goalkeeper both from its squad checklist or its appropriately skilled Under-21 gamers, the match will be postponed.

2) The standing of any COVID-19 outbreak inside a membership, together with the variety of people affected, the sequence and supply of infections and their proximity to the match in query.

3) A membership’s capacity to safely put together its gamers in the lead-up to a match.

4) Medical recommendation as to whether or not there is any unacceptable danger to the well being and security of gamers and employees by taking part in the match.

5) Any recommendation from UK Health Security Agency and different public our bodies.

6) Any different distinctive circumstances.”

However, profitable requests have induced controversy greater than as soon as – in the run-up to the north London derby Arsenal had lowered their squad dimension by permitting two gamers out on mortgage, and earlier in the week Burnley had additionally been criticised for efficiently requesting the postponement of their fixture with Leicester solely days after promoting Chris Wood to Newcastle.

Before Christmas, there have been requires a ‘circuit-breaker’ break in fixtures with the Omicron variant main to a fast rise in case numbers, however these had been rejected by the Premier League with Sky Sports reporting most wished to proceed taking part in. Despite conversations about Covid policy, no new steering was introduced, and The Times reported this weekend that is still the Premier League’s policy in the quick future.

Nev and Carra: Teams needs to be compelled to play

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Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have their say on whether or not Premier League golf equipment needs to be allowed to name matches off due to Covid, accidents and the Africa Cup of Nations

Gary Neville says the Premier League should drive groups to fulfil their fixtures after Arsenal requested to postpone Sunday’s north London derby, whereas Jamie Carragher believes golf equipment are making the most of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I honestly believe that all teams, not just in the Premier League but the EFL now, must be made to play their fixtures,” mentioned Neville.

“If it was purely down to Covid in extraordinary circumstances the place there was 10 or 15 gamers out, however we’re now speaking about groups for the previous couple of weeks the place there isn’t any doubt they have been calling video games off based mostly upon whether or not they assume they have the finest squad or staff to win a recreation. It’s bought to cease.

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Speaking on Super Sunday, Micah Richards and Robbie Keane focus on whether or not the north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham ought to have ben postponed by the Premier League

“That’s not a dig at Arsenal – I should’ve spoken about this three or four weeks ago. Manchester United and other teams have got 30 to 40 players in their squad – I’m not having they can’t get 13 to 16 players together.”

Carragher added: “No other league in Europe is doing this, certainly not in those big leagues. Bayern Munich played a 16-year-old in their last game and that tells you exactly where they are. Why can’t we do that? Why can’t the young players be given an opportunity in these circumstances?

“Everyone’s in the similar boat and I’m precisely with Gary. If it’s an outbreak of Covid and it’s decimated the squad I can perceive that, however gamers being in the AFCON event and simply regular accidents, that is bought nothing to do with it.

“You’ve got U23 squads and younger players, and this is an opportunity where they can get a chance.”

What have the managers mentioned?

Managers have come out on both aspect of the fence with regards to the scenario. West Ham boss David Moyes informed a press convention final week he felt managers had to “trust that the Premier League are doing things correctly”, whereas Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel mentioned he can be “very angry” if it got here out that rival golf equipment had been utilizing the system to make up for gamers misplaced to damage.

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Thomas Tuchel says he will be ‘very indignant’ if Covid guidelines are being abused by different golf equipment after Chelsea had been informed they’d to play a match once they felt they had been stretched throughout the Christmas fixtures.

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, whose aspect have seen video games pushed again twice for Covid postponements, mentioned individuals “cannot be surprised people are walking through when [the Premier League] have opened the door” on calling video games off, and that “new signings should not be allowed to play in rescheduled games”.

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Ralph Hasenhuttl says the Premier League has ‘opened the door’ to Covid guidelines being twisted

Pep Guardiola expressed his personal want that Manchester City’s recreation with Chelsea, performed on Saturday lunchtime, ought to go forward no matter his aspect’s Covid scenario, saying: “We try to play, if we have 11 or 12, we play. We have Cole Palmer, we have James McAtee and others who can play. We never ask [to postpone] because we have enough players.”

Which Premier League video games have been known as off?

Brighton vs Tottenham – Sunday December 12, Premier League

Brentford vs Man Utd – Tuesday December 14, Premier League (now January 19, 8pm)

Burnley vs Watford – Wednesday December 15, Premier League (rescheduled for January 18, however postponed once more)

Leicester vs Tottenham – Thursday December 16, Premier League (now January 19, 7.30pm)

Man Utd vs Brighton – Saturday December 18, Premier League

Southampton vs Brentford – Saturday December 18; Southampton received re-arranged recreation 4-1 on Tuesday January 11

Watford vs Crystal Palace – Saturday December 18

West Ham vs Norwich – Saturday December 18; West Ham received re-arranged recreation 2-0 on Wednesday January 12

Aston Villa vs Burnley – Saturday December 18, Premier League

Everton vs Leicester – Sunday December 19, Premier League

Liverpool vs Leeds – Sunday December 26, Premier League

Wolves vs Watford Sunday December 26, Premier League

Burnley vs Everton Sunday December 26, Premier League

Leeds vs Aston Villa – Tuesday December 28, Premier League

Arsenal vs Wolves – Tuesday December 28, Premier League

Everton vs Newcastle – Thursday December 30, Premier League

Leicester vs Norwich – Saturday January 1, Premier League

Southampton vs Newcastle – Sunday January 2, Premier League

Everton vs Leicester – Tuesday January 11 (as above, this recreation had already beforehand been postponed from its unique Sunday December 19 date)

Burnley vs Leicester – Saturday January 15, Premier League

Tottenham vs Arsenal – Sunday January 16, Premier League

Burnley vs Watford – Tuesday January 18, Premier League

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