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21st Dec 2021

FA refuse to cover costs of Covid-19 tests for non-Premier League teams

Callum Boyle

The FA will no longer provide financial assistance for non-Premier League clubs

The Football Association will not be covering the costs of Covid-19 tests for clubs outside of the Premier League ahead of the FA Cup Third Round in January, reports the Athletic.

As a way to help sides in the lower divisions, the FA helped to cover the costs to allow all teams to undergo PCR tests in the run-up to their Third Round fixtures.

This will affect clubs such as National League outfit Chesterfield who will be travelling to Stamford Bridge for a glamour tie against Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.

Instead of following the similar route, clubs will now be using lateral flow tests as an alternative, which follows in line with the current Premier League and EFL protocols.

At present, Premier League and EFL clubs are required to undergo daily testing amid the rising number of positive cases. Last season, the EFL were not as strict, but given the recent increase in the rate of infection, have now made daily testing mandatory.

This season will also see replays scrapped at the Third and Fourth Round stages in order to prevent teams’ fixture lists from becoming even more congested. As an alternative, they will instead go straight to extra-time and penalties should neither side be separated.

Recently, Premier League clubs voted to continue to play the league without a break after discussions took place over whether to have a one-week circuit breaker after a number of top-flight games were postponed due to a series of positive covid-19 results.

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