Tottenham left furious after Fulham game postponed at 11th hour amid Covid chaos
Tottenham have been left furious after the Premier League postponed their clash with Fulham less than three hours before kick-off.
It turned into a complete farce with Jose Mourinho posting a picture of his players still not sure whether they could play with the caption: "Match at 6pm… We still don't know if we play. Best league in the world.”
Spurs were in complete agreement with their manager as they were left waiting even though Fulham first reported the outbreak to the Premier League on Tuesday but no decision was taken until 24 hours later.
It is believed six Fulham players and four members of staff have tested positive but it might have been complicated further by others needing to self isolate even if they were negative.
They may yet be able to play Sunday's game at Burnley if there are no more positive cases.
Fulham were themselves in a hotel in London preparing to play the game but asked the Premier League for a postponement and eventually an official statement was put out at 3.14pm.
However, by that time Tottenham had already gone to great expense to put the game on, TV crews had started setting up as the game was due to be live on Amazon and their players were also left in limbo.
There is anger among clubs that there does not seem to be a set method of determining whether a game should go ahead because the original outline plan was that if a team could field 14 players then they must play.
It has further been complicated by a backlash after Manchester City ’s game at Everton being postponed on Monday with the Merseyside club then asking for the reasons and a full breakdown of that decision.
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Other clubs now feel that the Premier League have opened the floodgates and more clubs will ask for postponements which will cause chaos and a huge fixture backlog but with no set plan in place to decide if games should be played.
There was one piece of good news in that Manchester City have now reopened their training ground and can resume training which means their trip to Chelsea on Sunday should get the green light.
That follows City reporting five positive cases which resulted in their game at Everton being postponed but, having done a new round of tests, there were no new cases and the training ground has undergone a deep clean.
The Premier League are adamant that they have “full confidence” the season can go ahead as planned despite this week there being a record weekly high of 18 positive tests among players and staff.
That figure is likely to rise next week given the postponements of two fixtures because of serious outbreaks.
But the Premier League insist that the ratio of positives to the number of tests is still very low and could be a knock-on effect of Christmas get togethers with the hope it will ease in the next few weeks.
Premier League bosses wrote to clubs before Christmas to ask them to urge their players to behave with extreme caution to try and avoid a big upturn in cases.
But that does not seem to have worked amid the chaos in the top flight and also in the EFL.
However, Government sources insist that they remain happy with the current protocols and there is no appetite for a shutdown of elite sport.
Therefore, the Premier League is likely to carry on as planned and, as reported yesterday, there is no will for a two week coronavirus break even though clubs have privately discussed it among themselves.
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