Everton will request “full disclosure” of information from the Premier League after their match against Manchester City was postponed because of a growing Covid-19 outbreak among the City squad.
The game was called off at 4pm on Monday – four hours before it was due to kick-off at Goodison Park – after Manchester City recorded further positive tests for coronavirus.
On Christmas Day, City had announced that Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker had tested positive, along with two members of club staff. The club have now closed their first-team training ground, which will undergo a deep clean.
It is the second Premier League game this season to be called off due to a coronavirus outbreak, after Aston Villa vs Newcastle earlier this month. A number of games in the English Football League (EFL) over the festive period have also been postponed due to coronavirus outbreaks, with a further seven games hit on Monday.
Everton, who would have joined Liverpool at the top of the table with victory, will be seeking clarification from the Premier League as to how the decision to postpone the game was reached given the timing and the fact they were told the game was off rather than consulted as part of the process.
“Everton Football Club regret the postponement of tonight’s match against Manchester City – not only for the 2,000 fans who would have been attending, but for supporters on Merseyside and across the world,” a club statement read.
“Our players were prepared for the game, as were both the team staff and everyone at Goodison. Matchday is the most important date in our calendar. And this was a big one.
“Whilst Everton will always have public safety uppermost, we will be requesting full disclosure of all the information that Manchester City provided to the Premier League, so the club can be clear on why this decision was taken.”
Manchester City are next due in action away at Chelsea on Sunday, before playing Manchester United in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday January 6. They beat Newcastle 2-0 on Boxing Day.
A Manchester City statement read: “After the latest round of Covid-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day.
“With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond.
“Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture.
“All positive cases involving players and staff will observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine. The first team training ground at City Football Academy will close for an indeterminate period, with the squad and associated…
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