Aston Villa close training ground after 'significant' coronavirus outbreak
Aston Villa have been forced to close their Bodymoor Heath training ground after a “significant” coronavirus outbreak at the club.
Villa say a “large number” of their first-team players and staff have tested positive and first-team training has been cancelled ahead of Friday’s FA Cup tie at home to Liverpool.
The club confirmed the positive results were returned after testing on Monday and Thursday this week and revealed it is in talks with the Football Association and the Premier League with regards to future actions.
- Aston Villa fixtures
- 40 positives in latest week of PL testing
No club will automatically have to forfeit an FA Cup game if they are affected by coronavirus, with each case to be assessed by the FA on its individual circumstances, Sky Sports News understands.
The FA has told clubs taking part in the FA Cup third round they should field a team if they have at least 14 fit players, which can include youth team players, as they seek to avoid a fixture pile-up.
In a statement on Thursday, Villa said: “A large number of first-team players and staff returned positive tests after being routinely tested on Monday and immediately went into isolation.
“A second round of testing was carried out immediately and produced more positive results today.
“First-team training ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup match with Liverpool was cancelled.
“Discussions are ongoing between medical representatives of the club, the Football Association and the Premier League.”
Villa’s next Premier League game is at home to Tottenham on January 13, before another home match against Everton three days later.
Villa’s positive cases come after the Premier League confirmed a season-high 40 positive coronavirus results were recorded following two rounds of testing between December 28 and January 3.
Southampton vs Shrewsbury postponed over Covid
Southampton’s FA Cup third-round tie with Shrewsbury will not take place on Saturday as scheduled after the League One club reported a significant number of positive Covid-19 cases.
On Wednesday, the club notified the Football Association several players and staff members had tested positive for coronavirus, in addition to two positive tests last week, one confirmed as midfielder Marc Pugh.
It’s the second Shrewsbury match to be affected by coronavirus after the League One fixture with Crewe on January 2 was postponed.
All teams in the FA Cup are being tested 72 hours before their fixtures.
Derby County confirmed they will send a group of U23 and U18 players to play in the FA Cup at Chorley on Saturday following a coronavirus outbreak which has closed their training ground.
Interim manager Wayne Rooney, his coaching staff, and the whole of Derby’s first-team squad are set to miss the match because of the outbreak.
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