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Premier League: Manchester United clash in Brentford postponed after Covid outbreak


Manchester United’s English Premier League match at Brentford was postponed on Tuesday after a Covid-19 outbreak closed the Old Trafford club’s training facility. The Premier League has made the decision to postpone “based on the guidance of medical advisers,” reads a statement from Manchester United issued late Monday. The decision comes after United became the latest top flight team to be hit by a coronavirus outbreak, forcing the closure of their Carrington training complex.

The Premier League reported 42 new Covid-19 cases on Monday – a record since the test figures were released in May 2020.

United also halted first-team operations at Carrington for 24 hours on Monday after several players and staff tested positive for the virus.

Ralf Rangnick’s team did not travel to London.

Aston Villa and Brighton also revealed positive tests on Monday as the virus threatened to wreak havoc on the midweek match list.

“Manchester United can confirm that our Premier League match at Brentford FC, on Tuesday 14 December at 19:30, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course,” reads a United statement.

“Following PCR confirmation of positive LFT Covid-19 tests among the first team staff and players, the outbreak requires continuous supervision.

“A decision has been made to close first-team operations at the Carrington training complex for 24 hours to reduce the risk of further infection, and isolate individuals who tested positive in accordance with Premier League protocols.

“Given the cancellation of training and disruption of the team, and with the health of players and staff the priority, the Club requested that the match be rearranged.

“The Premier League council has made the decision to postpone on the basis of guidance from medical advisers.

“Manchester United regret the inconvenience Covid-19 caused Brentford FC and the supporters of both clubs.”

Positive lateral flow tests were reported returned Sunday by a small group of United players and staff, with those individuals sent home before the training session began.

With the Omicron variant sweeping across Britain – forcing the government to reintroduce stricter Covid protocols – United’s outbreak comes against a backdrop of growing virus issues at Premier League clubs.

‘Common sense’

Tottenham’s Premier League match against Brighton on Sunday has been postponed after an outburst at North London club boss Antonio Conte admitted he and his players were “scared”.

Conte said last Wednesday that eight players and five staff members tested positive, forcing the Europa Conference League match against Rennes to be postponed.

Just moments before United’s statement on Monday, Villa manager Steven Gerrard said his team had a virus outbreak, although their game against Norwich on Tuesday is not in doubt.

Gerrard confirmed “some staff members and some players” tested positive for Covid-19, which led to Villa canceling training on Sunday.

However, the team trained as usual on Monday before their trip to Carrow Road, where United won 1-0 on Saturday before their positive tests.

“I made the decision yesterday. Based on receiving some positive feedback, I thought it’s common sense to just cancel the session,” Gerrard said.

“We tested again this morning and we have a few staff members and a few players missing for the foreseeable future, but the vast majority came through the test this morning and we look forward to competing against Norwich.”

Brighton manager Graham Potter said there were “three or four” positive tests under his squad, but their game against Wolves on Wednesday is not currently threatened.

The Premier League wrote to all top flight clubs last Thursday instructing them to reintroduce Covid-19 emergency measures, including a return to social distance and mask wear.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta last week responded to the increase in virus outbreaks by calling on the Premier League to issue clearer guidelines on how many positive tests should cause a delay.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated stream.)

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