Frank Lampard described it as a “key time” for football and said safety has to be paramount after Chelsea‘s next two matches fell under the threat of COVID-19.
Manchester City will discover in the coming days if they are able to play the Chelsea game scheduled for Sunday at the Etihad.
The match has yet to be officially postponed but is in major doubt as a result of City suffering more positive test results following testing over Christmas.
The Citizens saw their Premier League clash with Everton scrapped, but to be rearranged, just hours before kick-off on Monday night after what it was thought to be another three tests, following four among players and staff on Christmas Day.
The London club’s FA Cup third round tie with Morecambe seven days later on January 10 is also expected to be shelved due to an outbreak of coronavirus at the League Two club.
That leaves the game against Fulham on January 15 as Chelsea’s next potential match – giving them over a fortnight off while their top-flight rivals face hectic fixture schedules.
Chelsea boss Lampard said after his side drew 1-1 with Aston Villa: “It is a key time and a tough time and I think we felt that coming as Tier 4 has come in and the surge of Covid.
“For me safety has to be paramount which is why I believe the game has been called off tonight – the fear of the spread among the squad at Manchester City.
“From our point-of-view, in terms of that, I will find out why in the next day or two, to make sure it has to be safe for the two teams.
“If not the game will not go ahead. The Premier League have their directives on that.
“It is a tough time but I am not surprised because at the moment the public and the way Covid is in the UK, it is difficult for everybody.
“I think we all sense that the next month might be a tough one, with what’s been happening before Christmas with Covid in general, the surge and the difficulties the public has got.
“Football is secondary in a sense. If we don’t play we’ll keep working and keep everyone safe, that’s first and foremost.”
Speaking on City’s situation in a post-Villa interview with Amazon Prime, Lampard added: “I was only aware of it [Everton-City being called off] before the game, I wasn’t focussed on it at all.
“From our point of view we had to focus on this [match vs Villa]. It’s something we’ll discuss given we’ve got them at the weekend and see what the position is.
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“I’m not absolutely clear on the rules in terms of COVID cases and how many [it takes to call the game off] and what happens so it’s something I’ll have to pick up with our medical team and the Premier League.
“We’ll have to cross that bridge [postponing the game] if it comes, covid is strange times for all of us for different reasons.
“We all sense that the next month or the next period…
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