Despite a Covid-19 outbreak amongst Spurs squad and workers members that has already resulted within the cancellation of two fixtures, it appeared that Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City would go on as deliberate.
However, followers wakened Thursday morning to the information that the match had been postponed attributable to Covid-19. While the Tottenham squad had been the one with the preliminary Covid-19 outbreak, having seen a pair of fixtures beforehand put aside attributable to squad constraints ensuing from constructive exams. However, it finally turned out that an outbreak among the many Leicester City squad was what pushed the Premier League to postpone the match.
We can verify that tonight’s Premier League fixture at Leicester City has been postponed following a Premier League Board assembly this morning.
Full assertion ⤵️
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 16, 2021
An announcement from the Premier League confirmed that the board was pressured to rethink the standing of the fixture as soon as Leicester City offered new constructive circumstances on Thursday morning that left the squad in an untenable place.
According to studies, together with from Evening Standard reporter Dan Kilpatrick, there’s frustration among the many Tottenham brass with the late postponement after the match had initially been confirmed as scheduled. Not solely had Spurs already traveled to Leicester City for the sport, however an earlier determination would have allowed them to play the beforehand postponed Europa Conference League match towards Stade Rennes. That sport had been postponed final week, and Tottenham’s place within the competitors at the moment hangs within the stability, with the opportunity of expulsion remaining if they can’t discover a time to reschedule up the sport. As it stands, with the preliminary requests to postpone the Premier League match ignored by the league, Spurs are actually left with out the power to play both sport regardless of a now-viable squad.
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte had beforehand confirmed throughout his pre-match press convention on Wednesday that each groups formally requested the match be postponed, however that each requests had been rejected outright by the Premier League.
“The Premier League did not want to postpone the game against Leicester,” Conte said. “Maybe because we have to play Burnley and Brighton and had postponed two games before. Last week was terrible because the government decides, in the right way, to close the training ground and stop our training session. I had the press conference where it’s very difficult to speak about football. Then we had Thursday, Friday and Saturday without any sessions. Sunday we started again to work with not many players, because we also had problems with U23s.
“We started with 13/14 players [on Sunday] and today we had training with 16 players and more young players.”
To this point, no information has been given regarding what players are out with positive tests or close contacts.
Spurs returned to training on Monday at Hotspur Way Training Ground, a reason to be hopeful for the team’s chances to play on Thursday. Still, according to a report by Dan Kilpatrick of the Evening Standard, areas of the coaching floor remained closed, and the squad is depleted due to constructive exams and shut contact protocols forcing people into isolation. According to The Telegraph’s Matt Law, a minimum of one participant examined constructive on Monday, and there’s additionally a separate “giant outbreak” among the Under-23 squad.
Leicester City is also dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak, as Brendan Rodgers confirmed Wednesday morning that his own squad is down at least nine players due to positive tests. Additional positive tests on Thursday morning have now left the squad in an unplayable position.
What are the Premier League rules for postponing matches due to Covid-19?
The Telegraph report states that a worst-case-scenario on Thursday could see Tottenham boss Antonio Conte with as few as 13 players available for selection. According to league guidelines cited by Sky Sports, the Premier League grants postponements for clubs that have fewer than 14 available players due to a Covid outbreak, although it will also consider other factors such as preparation time and the possibility of further spread “in distinctive circumstances.”
“In contemplating any utility to postpone, the Board considers a variety of sporting and medical elements. Each determination is taken on a case-by-case foundation with everybody’s well being of utmost significance,” the league stated in its release of the guidelines.
Had Thursday’s match been postponed, it would leave Spurs with three Premier League games to make up, after a trip to Burnley was snowed out on Nov. 28. That presents an increasingly tall order for a Tottenham team that is still hoping to reach a top four spot. Spurs are currently just three points out of fourth place, which would grant the final automatic berth to the lucrative UEFA Champions League.
With still over half the season to go, there would be open dates for rescheduling matches down the road, especially against teams like Burnley and Brighton which are not competing in European competitions. However, should Sunday’s scheduled match against Liverpool be called into question, it could prove more challenging to reschedule given Liverpool’s involvement on multiple competitive fronts.
Leicester City, meanwhile is scheduled to play in the Europa Conference League playoffs in February.
Tottenham’s Conference League match cancelled
Before the Premier League match against Brighton was postponed on Dec. 12, Tottenham’s COVID-19 outbreak had already resulted in the cancellation of its final group-stage match in the Europa Conference League on Dec. 9.
That match was scheduled against Group G leaders Stade Rennais, and third-place Spurs were entering the group finale with the hope of a win that would allow them to leapfrog Dutch side Vitesse into second place and advance to the Conference League playoffs.
With a decision yet to be reached on whether that match will be replayed, UEFA still included Tottenham’s name in the Conference League playoffs draw alongside that of Vitesse. UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body is working on determining next steps, and it’s unclear if Spurs will be given the chance to advance or whether it will have to forfeit.
Tottenham was set to host that Conference League match in London, and after it was scratched the club took the food previously ordered and donated it to the needy. The same thing happened with the meals pre-ordered for the trip to face Brighton.