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19th Jan 2022

Premier League to consider changing rules on covid postponements

Callum Boyle

The decision will be discussed at the next Premier League meeting

The Premier League are considering changing the current rules on postponing fixtures after this weekend’s round of matches.

According to reports from The Athletic, a meeting for all 20 clubs will be called to discuss how the rules should change when it comes to postponing games, following controversy in recent days.

The most notable of those was Arsenal’s decision to postpone their game against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend due to not having enough first-team players available to play – despite there only being one positive recorded covid case at the time.

Current rules state that teams must play their fixtures unless they have less than 13 outfield players available for the game. During this period, other sides have called out clubs for cancelling games, using excuses such as injuries and players away on international duty to justify their reasons.

The discussion will take place during the league’s two-week winter break which they hope will allow clubs sufficient time to come to a conclusion on what measures should be taken.

A statement from the Premier League read: “The Premier League is consulting with our clubs regarding COVID-19 postponement rules and guidance in light of the changing national picture and the falling number of cases within our squads.

“The league’s current guidance was amended in December following the emergence of the new Omicron variant and we continue to monitor the ongoing effects of the virus and will update our guidance accordingly.”

There has been much controversy with regards to the current set of rules, which have seen 21 matches postponed so far.

These rules dictate that a fixture will be postponed if one of the teams does not have 13 available outfield players, and one goalkeeper, “either from its squad list or its appropriately experienced Under-21 players.”

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