The Premier League have introduced a new ruling regarding the postponement of matches due to Covid infections.Following a string or contentious cancellations, the League has imposed fresh conditions concerning the ability call for a postponement.
Now it is the case that a minimum of FOUR players in the first team squad must have tested positive for Covid before any of the 20 member clubs can apply to have a fixture postponed.
"Following a club meeting today, the Premier League's Covid match postponement guidance has been updated to include an impact threshold," read a statement published by the league on Wednesday.
"From now on, if a club applies to postpone a match on the grounds of insufficient players due to Covid, they must have a minimum of four positive cases within their squad.
"Club applications will continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The Premier League Board examines a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact ofCovid and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match.
"The detail within all applications is scrutinised by the League’s specialist staff before the Board makes its decision."
Prior to the new ruling, clubs were able to apply for postponements at their discretion - without needing to provide evidence of positive tests.
That led to a number of clubs, including Newcastle, Tottenham and Arsenal using the rule to their advantage, with players also missing for other reasons such as injury and being involved in international duty.
West Ham boss David Moyes had been a fierce critic of the previous state of affairs ,which he suggested had benefited some clubs more than others.
The new changes come into effect from 5 February, before the next batch of Premier League fixtures, in which West Ham face relegation candidates Watford at the London Olympic Stadium.
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