Soccer-Injuries, COVID cases at Norwich force League to postpone Leicester game


Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace v Norwich City - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - December 28, 2021 General view of the ball Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

(Reuters) -Norwich City's Premier League game at Leicester City on Saturday has been postponed due to COVID-19 cases and injuries in the Norwich squad, leaving them with insufficient players to fulfil the fixture, the league said on Thursday.

It is the 17th Premier League match to be postponed due to COVID-19 cases and injuries this month.

"The Board accepted Norwich's application as the club do not have the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), due to COVID-19 cases and injuries," the league said in a statement https://www.premierleague.com/news/2430944?sf252508464=1.

Norwich had their game at West Ham United postponed https://www.canaries.co.uk/content/west-ham-fixture-postponed due to COVID-19 cases, injuries and illness reported among players and staff, while Leicester had matches against Tottenham Hotspur https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/leicester-v-spurs-called-off-due-covid-19-outbreak-reports-2021-12-16 and Everton https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/premier-league-postpones-four-more-weekend-matches-due-covid-19-2021-12-16 postponed due to coronavirus cases among their players.

"Those individuals who have returned a positive COVID-19 test result are completing a period of self-isolation, as per Premier League protocols and government guidelines," Norwich said.

"The club regrets any inconvenience caused to Leicester City and both sets of supporters."

The Premier League only grants a postponement if a club has fewer than 14 players -- 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper -- available, with the board examining requests on a case-by-case basis.

Norwich are bottom of the table on 10 points after 19 matches, three points adrift of the safety zone. Leicester are ninth on 25 points after 18 matches.

The United Kingdom reported a record 183,037 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday -- over 53,000 more than the previous highest figure registered just a day earlier as it continues to battle a surge in infections fuelled by the Omicron variant.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak and Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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