Spurs and Chelsea matches rearranged as Government pressure to justify sport’s exemption grows after series of Covid-19 breaches by players

The number of Covid-19 breaches footballers have committed is making the Government find it hard to justify exemption from suspension. Spurs’ match with Fulham has been rearranged for Wednesday.

Spurs and Chelsea matches rearranged as Government pressure to justify sport’s exemption grows after series of Covid-19 breaches by players

Spurs & Chelsea matches rearranged

The Premier League has confirmed the rearrangement of 3 fixtures this week after Aston Villa were unable to fulfil the fixture with Tottenham Hotspur due to a Covid-19 outbreak.

Instead of Villa, Spurs will now face Fulham in the rearranged fixture which was postponed due to an outbreak in the West London club earlier this season. This has meant a knock on effect for Fulham’s Friday match with Chelsea which has now been confirmed to have been delayed by a single day to Saturday.

Furthermore, to give Aston Villa more time for self-isolation and recovery, their match with Everton has been suspended by a single day from Saturday 16th to Sunday 17th.

Government pressure

With the number of footballing breaches of Covid-19 regulations, the Government has reportedly come under increased scrutiny to justify the exemption of the sport from the lockdown.

Ever since football began again after the initial suspension during the first lockdown, it has continued indefinitely with interruption only coming from match suspensions when outbreaks have occurred within squads. However, these outbreaks have caused increased scrutiny of the clubs and their players especially considering a number of high-profile breaches over the festive period.

Benjamin Mendy, Luka Milivojevic, Aleksandr Mitrovic, Sergio Regulion, Manuel Lanzini, Erik Lamela and Giovanni Lo Celso have all been reported to have broken guidelines.

Spurs and Chelsea matches rearranged as Government pressure to justify sport’s exemption grows after series of Covid-19 breaches by players

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 19: Benjamin Mendy of Manchester City looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town at Etihad Stadium on August 19, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

BBC Sport Editor Dan Roan has now confirmed that the Government are ‘concerned’ with these breaches and other instances such as the celebrations of non-league side Chorley after their FA Cup win over Derby County.

“Government ministers are “concerned” that such scenes of dressing-room celebrations over the weekend risk making it harder to justify elite sporting continuing, & want football to redouble its efforts over social distancing protocols and guidelines,” wrote Roan to his Twitter profile.

“According to one well-placed Whitehall source, elite sport is not quite in the last chance saloon, but after a series of high-profile player breaches away from clubs, ministers are worried it’s becoming harder to justify exemption it’s been granted, and there’s no guarantees.”

“The FA says it will be reminding clubs of their responsibilities following the behaviour of some over the weekend. They reiterated the importance of adhering to protocols ahead of the FA Cup 3rd round, which included minimising time spent in changing rooms.”

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester United FC 19 11 40
2 Manchester City FC 18 18 38
3 Leicester City FC 19 14 38
4 Liverpool FC 19 15 34
5 Tottenham Hotspur FC 18 16 33
6 Everton FC 17 7 32
7 West Ham United FC 19 5 32
8 Aston Villa FC 17 13 29
9 Chelsea FC 19 10 29
10 Southampton FC 18 5 29
11 Arsenal FC 19 4 27
12 Leeds United 18 -4 23
13 Crystal Palace FC 19 -11 23
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 19 -8 22
15 Burnley FC 18 -12 19
16 Newcastle United FC 19 -14 19
17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 19 -7 17
18 Fulham FC 18 -12 12
19 West Bromwich Albion 19 -28 11
20 Sheffield United FC 19 -22 5
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Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 7
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 6
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
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