COVID-19 outbreak claims another Premier League match

LONDON (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak at Everton has forced the postponement of the club’s match at Burnley, the Premier League said Friday.

It’s the third match of the Boxing Day lineup to be postponed as part of a Sunday program that still features six games.

The Premier League has now called off 13 matches because of coronavirus issues in two weeks, with players having to isolate after testing positive or if they are unvaccinated and a close contact of a COVID-19 case.

Everton had asked for the postponement citing virus cases and injuries, and the league’s board “regrettably approved” the request.

“The Board reviewed the club’s request today to postpone the match following further injuries to their squad. They concluded that the club will not be able to fulfill their fixture this weekend as a result of an insufficient number of players available to play due to COVD-19 cases and injuries,” the league said in a statement.

On Thursday, coronavirus outbreaks at Leeds and Watford forced postponements of their Sunday matches. Leeds was scheduled to travel to Liverpool and Watford was set to play at Wolverhampton.

“While recognizing a number of clubs are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, it is the clubs’ and the league’s collective intention to continue the current fixture schedule where safely possible,” the league said.

Stewards check the fans for their COVID-19 documents at the entrance of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in London, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

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