Premier League circuit-break r...


Premier League circuit-break rejected, but FA Cup replays to be scrapped

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The Premier League has decided against a circuit break, despite spiralling numbers of games being postponed on account of COVID-19. 

An emergency meeting of all 20 clubs was called on Monday, following a weekend that saw six out of ten games called off due to coronavirus cases. Chelsea's game away to Wolves went ahead, despite an appeal from the London club to postpone the match.

However, it's reported in The Telegraph that replays in the FA Cup 3rd and 4th rounds will be scrapped to free up the schedule for further disturbances.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp voiced his preference for a circuit-break following Sunday's 2-2 draw at Tottenham. He's seen a largely double-vaccinated squad hit by positive tests for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara.

"If someone tells me that [a circuit breaker] is the solution I am in, 100 per cent," said Klopp.

"The only thing really is for us, it looks like we have no cases for the staff and the staff got the booster, I don't know exactly, five or six weeks ago.

"The players could get the booster after the Aston Villa game (December 11), so five or six days later they still have the coronavirus.

"Two of them have had the booster already, the other two couldn't because of a different injection before for something else.

"If everyone is boosted and then it is two weeks at home and we don't have more cases and that is the solution then fine. I can't wait for that, absolutely.

"But if we don't do anything and we just stop [playing] then I don't see the benefit, really.

"I don't know these numbers [about vaccine percentages]. I heard the EFL did something, but I don't know the numbers."

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has urged clubs to "strongly encourage" players to get vaccinated, following the revelation in October that only 68 per cent of top flight players have been double jabbed - one of the lowest rates in European football.

While the decision to ditch Cup replays has been agreed in principle, it's yet to be officially ratified by the FA.

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