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HomeUK NewsPremier League and EFL decide against suspending Christmas schedule amid COVID outbreak

Premier League and EFL decide against suspending Christmas schedule amid COVID outbreak

The Premier League and English Football League (EFL) have decided against suspending their Christmas schedules, despite COVID outbreaks at several clubs.

The Premier League called a shareholder meeting to discuss postponing a full round of fixtures, but the idea was rejected.

The EFL said it will carry on amid a “daily testing regime and (the) ongoing vaccination rollout”.

Six Premier League games were postponed over the weekend.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank called for all Premier League fixtures on Saturday and Sunday to be called off, saying infections were “going through the roof” with 13 cases at his west London club.

But the league resisted his suggestion, saying it wanted to continue with the schedule “where safely possible”.

Tottenham have been one of the hardest-hit clubs, with Sunday’s fixture at home to Liverpool their first game in a fortnight.

EFL Chief Executive Trevor Birch said the priorities were “ensuring the welfare of those involved in competitions and ensuring the fixture schedule can continue where it is safe to do so”.

He added: “We will continue to work with clubs, authorities and other agencies to monitor the COVID-19 case rate and be prepared to respond accordingly, yet for now the view remains that we can continue to deliver games safely where clubs have sufficient healthy personnel in place, on and off the pitch.”

The FA is considering scrapping third and fourth-round FA Cup replays this season to help reduce fixture congestion.

The latest vaccine data for November found one in four English Football League (EFL) players does not intend to get the jab.

The data showed 75% of players across the EFL are either fully vaccinated, have had a single jab, or intend to be vaccinated.

Some 59% of EFL players are double vaccinated, while 16% are set to have the jab.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged footballers to get immunised and suggested the club will not consider signing unvaccinated players.

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