Premier League to change covid rules to reduce postponements 3 months ago

Premier League to change covid rules to reduce postponements

More than 20 matches have been postponed already this season

Premier League clubs will now be required to show proof of four positive covid tests in their squads in order to have a fixture postponed, as reported by the Daily Mail.

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Following a covid summit earlier today (26 January), it was confirmed that a shift would be made from 'available players' to 'active Covid cases', which will come into force from the next round of fixtures.

No objections to the new rules were made at the meeting and the new criteria will apply when teams return to action following the winter break.

The Premier League's current rules state that clubs have to prove that they do not have 13 available players plus a goalkeeper in order for a game to be postponed - with both injuries and international duty taken into consideration.

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So far, 22 top-flight league matches have been cancelled, with several clubs receiving criticism for requesting a postponement when they technically had the required number of players to compete.

For example, Arsenal, who successfully requested that the recent north London derby was postponed, reportedly had just one positive covid case.

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However, the new minimum threshold to request a match being called off will be see clubs having to provide proof of four positive tests within their playing squad. In addition, four positive cases will not necessarily lead to an automatic cancellation.

Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters, is thought to have received the backing of as many as 18 clubs for the new guidance, with the number of postponements expected to be reduced anyway due to a decline in covid cases and several players returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.

The AFCON final is set to take place on February 6 and the next round of Premier League fixtures begins on February 5, when Burnley face-off against relegation rivals Watford.

Most teams return to action after the short winter break on the following Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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