Gary Lineker raises football fear with Aston Villa vs Liverpool in doubt after outbreak

Premier League: Football Digest on growing COVID crisis

Match of the Day presenter and former England striker Gary Lineker is fearful that COVID-19 is set to take its toll on football in the next few weeks. The doubt has been raised following the news that Aston Villa have been forced to close their Bodymoor Heath Training Ground following a Covid-19 outbreak.

It’s not the first time Villa have been affected by the coronavirus in recent months. Their Premier League clash with Newcastle at Villa Park was the first match to be postponed in the Premier League this season back in December.

Now Villa’s FA Cup tie with Liverpool is in major doubt after first-team training was cancelled earlier today.

Manchester City’s trip to Everton was also waved off at the end of December before Fulham’s matches with Tottenham and Burnley were also cancelled.

Lineker is now concerned about the developing pattern that is forming as the country tackles the coronavirus crisis.

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He tweeted: “It appears highly likely that @AVFCOfficial’s with cup tie with @LFC will be called off after a Covid outbreak in the Villa camp.

“I fear football might succumb in the next few weeks.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a national lockdown earlier this week that will last until mid-February at the earliest.

However, elite sport has been given the green-light to continue as the government look to offer the public an escape during these unprecedented times.

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The Premier League confirmed on Tuesday that there were 28 new positive cases of COVID-19 following the latest round of testing, which included 1,311 players and club staff.

Villa have since confirmed in a club statement that all of their players and staff at the training ground have undergone further testing following the outbreak.

The results will provide a definitive answer as to whether their clash with Liverpool goes ahead.

The statement read: “Aston Villa can confirm that the Club has closed its Bodymoor Heath training ground after a significant Coronavirus outbreak.

“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.”

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