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Soccer-Injuries, COVID-19 cases at Newcastle force Premier League to call off Everton game

Randy Mancini 34 December 28, 2021
FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Chelsea v Everton
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Everton - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - December 16, 2021 Fans get their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) passes checked outside the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

December 28, 2021

(Reuters) -Everton’s home Premier League game against Newcastle United on Thursday has been postponed after the visiting team said they were left with insufficient players to fulfil the fixture due to COVID-19 cases and injuries, the Premier League said on Tuesday.

It is the 16th Premier League game to be postponed due to COVID-19 cases and injuries this month.

“The Board accepted Newcastle United’s postponement application as the club does not have the required number of players available for the match, due to COVID-19 cases and injuries,” the Premier League said in a statement.

Newcastle said a number of players and staff returned positive results during routine PCR tests. Several players have also been injured with Callum Wilson the latest player to be sidelined for the foreseeable future.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe had said after Monday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United that they are “thin on the ground in terms of bodies” with Federico Fernandez, Jamal Lewis, Fabian Schar, Paul Dummett, Allan Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser injured.

The Premier League only grants a postponement if a club has fewer than 14 players — 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper — available, with the board examining requests on a case-by-case basis.

Newcastle are 19th in the standings with 11 points while Everton are 15th with 19 points having played two fewer games after their fixtures against Leicester City and Burnley were also postponed.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru;Editing by Christian Radnedge)