Fulham and Tottenham Game Cancelled
English Premier League Matchday 16 games between Fulham and Tottenham has been called off because of new coronavirus cases at the west London club.
The game was to start at 18:00 GMT at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but Fulham requested for the fixture to be postponed and the decision was confirmed three hours before kick-off.
On Tuesday, the latest round of Premier League Covid-19 testing found 18 people had tested positive for the virus which is the highest figure recorded in the testing programme.
A Tottenham statement said: “The Premier League informed us of the decision this [Wednesday] afternoon, with Fulham having requested the postponement on the grounds of the number of Covid-19 positive cases among their players and staff.
“Everyone at Tottenham Hotspur sends their best wishes to Fulham for a safe and speedy recovery to all those who are affected.”
On Monday, Manchester City’s Premier League game with Everton was called after it was discovered that there was multiple cases of the virus. This was after two of Manchester City players had tested positive already.
Fulham boss Scott Parker did not take charge of his team’s goalless draw with Southampton on the 26th of December after someone in his household tested positive for Covid-19. Parker was due to return to the dugout at Tottenham.
Premier League officials are not planning any kind of ‘circuit-break’, no formal proposal to do so has been lodged by any club, and the government remains supportive of matches continuing behind closed doors. It is notable that in a statement, the league said it “continues to have full confidence in its protocols and being able to continue to play our fixtures as scheduled.”
While nothing is being ruled out, with crucial broadcast contracts to honour, and the Euros starting in early June, it is easy to see why league officials are loath to suspend the season. But even if they do not, concern over fixture congestion and player welfare will only increase.
Rescheduling postponed matches will not be easy, and football’s authorities will come under mounting scrutiny for not having created more space in the packed calendar to allow for such disruption before the season began.