The Premier League will not change its rules for suspensions due to the corona virus, despite criticism over their decision to take injuries into account when deciding whether matches can continue.
The recent cancellation of Newcastle United’s trip to Everton has caused controversy as the Magpies’ request was only accepted after they suffered three injuries during their draw against Manchester United earlier this week.
Current rules state that teams must have 13 senior players – all of whom have played in a Premier League match – and a goalkeeper in order for a match to take place, and it was determined that Newcastle did not meet these requirements.
The decision was publicly criticized by Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and several others, including expert Gary Neville.
Hasenhuttl, whose Saints side will face Newcastle on January 2, with the exception of further cancellations, argued that injuries are part of the match and should not be taken into account when considering a postponement request.
“Injuries are not Covid cases,” he said. “They had seven or eight players on the bench during their last match and now they have two more injuries. They should still have 13 players plus one (goalkeeper), this is the message from the Premier League,” he said.
Despite this criticism, the Daily Mail reports that there is no intention to change the rules of this campaign.
This problem is unlikely to go away any time soon with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 spreading across Europe at an alarming rate.
A record 103 Premier League players and staff tested positive for the virus last week and this is likely to result in further launches in January. There is already a considerable match lag to get through in 2022 with only a handful of teams not following the schedule in the division.
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