First Premier League Game Of Season Postponed Due To COVID-19
nglish Premier League club, Newcastle United, has been forced to postpone its December 4 match against Aston Villa due to an outbreak of COVID-19.
The Newcastle side, also known as the Magpies, has also closed their training ground after several players and staff returned positive COVID-19 test results, meaning this matchup has become the first Premier League game of the season to be postponed.
In a statement, Newcastle United said: “Several Newcastle United players and staff members are now self-isolating at home after returning positive test results in recent days and the club’s training centre site has been temporarily closed in order to contain the spread of the virus.”
“With the Magpies’ first team currently unable to prepare for the match as a group, Newcastle United lodged a request with the Premier League to postpone the fixture at Villa Park, which has been approved by the Premier League board.
“Despite previously experiencing only a very small number of isolated COVID-19 cases, positive test results have risen sharply in recent days.
“Accordingly, the club is now is working with Public Health England North East (PHE), local health authorities and the Premier League in line with COVID-19 protocols to identify the source of the outbreak and to ensure the risk of further transmission continues to be minimised.
“All players and training ground staff will be re-tested this week and a meeting between the club, Premier League and PHE will take place to assess the test results.
“The club will not be naming individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and asks that their privacy is respected,” the club said.
In response to the request from Newcastle, the Premier League released a statement saying it would rearrange the fixture “in due course”, which likely would not cause too much scheduling headaches for the league with both clubs not involved in European football competitions currently.
“Newcastle lodged a request with the Premier League to rearrange the game following a significant increase in COVID-19 cases at the club which resulted in Public Health England North East advising that their training facilities remain closed,” the Premier League statement said.
“The Premier League board agreed, as a consequence, that the club are unable to train and adequately and safely prepare for their match on Friday.
“The decision has been taken in consultation with Newcastle United and Aston Villa, and following extensive consultation with PHE and Premier League medical advisors, with the health of players and staff the priority,” the league said.