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Covid-19 disrupts another Premier League fixture as Watford-Burnley is postponed

General view of a sign outside Turf Moor where Burnley were supposed to take on Watford. Picture: Lee Smith/Reuters

General view of a sign outside Turf Moor where Burnley were supposed to take on Watford. Picture: Lee Smith/Reuters

Published Dec 15, 2021

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London - Watford's Premier League clash at Burnley was postponed less than three hours before kick-off because of "an ongoing Covid outbreak" within the Hornets' squad on Wednesday.

Burnley revealed the match at Turf Moor had been cancelled at the last minute after their opponents were hit by the Covid-19 virus.

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"Burnley Football Club can confirm tonight's match against Watford has been postponed due to an ongoing Covid-19 outbreak within the opposition squad," the Clarets said in a statement.

It was the third Premier League game to be postponed due to Covid in the last week as the new Omicron variant causes havoc in England's top-flight.

Tottenham's trip to Brighton last Sunday was called off due to an outbreak at the north London club, while Manchester United's match at Brentford on Tuesday was cancelled after the Old Trafford club's positive tests.

Several matches in the second-tier Championship have also been postponed recently because of Covid cases.

"It is with regret the Premier League board has postponed Burnley FC's home fixture against Watford FC," a Premier League statement said.

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"The decision was taken following guidance from medical advisers due to an ongoing Covid-19 outbreak within Watford's squad. As a result, the club has an insufficient number of first-team players available to fulfil the match.

"The Premier League understands this decision will disappoint and frustrate fans who were due to attend this evening's game and apologises for the inconvenience and disruption caused at such short notice.

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"In considering any application to postpone, the board considers a range of sporting and medical factors. Each decision is taken on a case-by-case basis with everyone's health of utmost importance."

United, Tottenham, Brighton, Leicester, Norwich and Aston Villa had already been hit by the virus over the last week.

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The Premier League has responded to the growing number of positive cases by introducing strict virus protocols.

Players and staff must take a lateral flow test every time they enter their club's training ground.

Twice-weekly PCR testing is also reported to have been introduced after a clubs' shareholders' meeting on Tuesday.

The increased testing will sit alongside the other recently introduced emergency measures, including face coverings, limiting time in the treatment room and observing social distancing.

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