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.

As a result of this rescheduling, @SpursOfficial will now play their home match against @FulhamFC in its place, on Wednesday 13 January at 8.15pm GMT

Fulham’s home fixture against @ChelseaFC will be moved from Friday 15 January to Saturday 16 January at 5.30pm GMT

— Premier League (@premierleague) January 11, 2021

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.

Everton’s away game at @AVFCOfficial will also move from Saturday 16 January 5.30pm GMT to Sunday 17 January 12pm GMT #PL #AVLEVE

— Premier League (@premierleague) January 11, 2021

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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