Soccer-Man Utd COVID outbreak forces postponement of Brighton game


  • Football
  • Thursday, 16 Dec 2021

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Arsenal - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - December 2, 2021 General view inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Phil Noble

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester United's match against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak at the Old Trafford club, the Premier League said on Thursday.

"It is with regret that this is the fourth Premier League fixture to have been postponed in the past week," the league said in a statement.

"While recognising a number of clubs are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, it is the League's intention to continue its current fixture schedule where safely possible. The health and wellbeing of all concerned remains our priority."

United had reported a "small number" of cases discovered among first-team staff and players on Sunday.

Tuesday's Premier League trip to Brentford was called off as a result, with the club insisting the situation had got worse.

"The health of players and staff is our priority," United said on Thursday.

"Given the number of players and support staff having to isolate due to Covid-19, the club had no option other than to request the match be rearranged. The Premier League Board took the decision to postpone based on guidance from medical advisors.

"We will also suspend football training operations at The Carrington Training Complex for a short period to help reduce risk of further transmission."

Brighton had a request to postpone Wednesday's clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers rejected by the Premier League, their manager Graham Potter said this week.

Leicester City's match with Tottenham Hotspur scheduled for Thursday night has also been postponed, taking the total number of Premier League matches cancelled from Sunday onwards to five.

The Premier League found a record 42 cases of COVID-19 among players and staff at various clubs over the past week.

The 42 positive tests from over 3,800 individuals is more than the tally from the previous seven weeks combined and a record in the English top flight in a single week.

(Reporting by Peter Hall, additional reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Toby Davis)

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