Premier League chiefs insist the season will go on despite Fulham’s clash with Burnley on Sunday becoming the latest victim of the coronavirus.
Fulham announced on Saturday that their showdown with relegation rivals Burnley was off following further positive tests among Scott Parker’s squad.
The Cottagers’ match against Tottenham was also called off in midweek due to the Covid-19 problems at the west London club.
“Following further new positive results returned from the most recent Covid-19 tests, the club can confirm that this Sunday’s away fixture at Burnley has been postponed after discussions with the Premier League and advice from medical teams,” a Fulham statement read.
“Those who tested positive are self-isolating in line with UK Government and Premier League guidance.
“The welfare of our players, staff and their families continues to be of paramount importance and we wish those who have tested positive a safe and speedy recovery.”
With Newcastle’s game against Aston Villa and Everton’s meeting with Manchester City also postponed due to virus outbreaks recently, there have been calls for a “circuit break” period, which would see all matches halted to allow the virus to be contained.
West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce was especially vocal in his demand for the break.
But the Premier League’s stance remains that continuing with the season as planned is the right option.
“With the health of players and staff the priority, the League and Fulham will agree a further action plan to control the outbreak to allow the club to resume their season safely. Players and staff will now be retested as part of a revised testing schedule,” a Premier League statement said.
“With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the League continues to have confidence in its Covid-19 protocols, fully backed by the Government, to enable fixtures to be played as scheduled.
“The League wishes those with Covid-19 a safe and speedy recovery and will rearrange Fulham’s two postponed games as soon as possible.”