Full list of postponed games as Covid plays havoc with festive football schedule


A number of outbreaks at clubs up and down the country has resulted in more cancellations in the busy festive period, after just 15 games took place on Boxing Day

The number of games called off on December 28 and 29 already stretches into double figures

The ongoing rise in coronavirus cases continues to play havoc with football’s festive schedule.

Boxing Day saw mass cancellations across the Premier League, the Championship, League One and League Two. So much so that only nine games took place across all three divisions of the EFL.

A further four games are being played on Monday, including Newcastle versus Manchester United.

But with clubs set to play another matchday before the New Year, the knock-on effect is still seeing matches postponed.

At present, 14 games due to be played between Tuesday and Thursday have already been called off.

One of those to be cancelled is Birmingham’s Championship clash at home to Peterborough with Lee Bowyer’s side saying they don’t have “a sufficient number of players available”.

What’s your thoughts on the fixture disruption? Let us know in the comments section

Birmingham City’s proposed meeting with Peterborough has been postponed

A statement from Birmingham said: “With a short turnaround time between fixtures, there was insufficient window for players to return from isolation or recover from injury.

“Once again, the number of Covid-19 cases within the men’s first-team group meet the EFL threshold.”

Swansea’s meeting with Luton, which was due to be staged behind closed doors after the Welsh government imposed fresh restrictions, is also off.

Clubs will be eager to avoid calling games off late in the day, as was the case on Boxing Day with Hull’s clash with Blackburn.

Hull were already carrying a significant number of positive coronavirus cases, and tests on Boxing Day morning revealed a further clutch of positives.

However, the timing of the cancellation announcement – two hours before kick-off – proved a controversial one. Thousands of Blackburn fans had either already arrived at the MKM Stadium or were in situ on coaches or in cars.

Blackburn Rovers’ supporters get back on the coach after their game at Hull was called off with just two hours’ notice

Blackburn have since confirmed that they have requested a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the late call-off.

Hull’s vice-chairman Ehab Allam insisted that his side were merely following EFL protocols – and believes the rules should “be relaxed a little bit”.

Speaking to local radio, he said: “We do want to put games on, it’s the Boxing Day match in the festive period – it was a bumper crowd and we really wanted to put the game on, but we do have to comply with the government legislation which then filters down into the Football League legislation.

Fans are now required to show Covid passports at venues over 10,000 capacity

“Nobody wants to cancel the game a couple of hours before kick-off, so it’s a very, very difficult decision to make but we do have to comply with the rules and we certainly don’t want to be breaching any rules because that may impact the games going forward, we have to be very mindful of that.

“The rules are too tight, I think they should be relaxed a little bit, but at the end of the day I’m not setting the rules and I have to comply with them, it’s difficult for everybody and I appreciate that, it isn’t a situation we wanted to be in.

“We’d rather play the game.”

Full list of games called off

Tuesday, December 28

PREMIER LEAGUE

Arsenal v Wolves

Leeds v Aston Villa

Wednesday, December 29

CHAMPIONSHIP

Swansea City v Luton Town

Birmingham v Peterborough

LEAGUE ONE

Burton Albion v Bolton

Charlton v Gillingham

LEAGUE TWO

Forest Green v Exeter

Harrogate Town v Mansfield

Leyton Orient v Newport County

Salford v Carlisle

Scunthorpe v Northampton

Walsall v Bradford

Thursday, December 30

CHAMPIONSHIP

West Brom v Preston North End

LEAGUE ONE

Cambridge v Doncaster

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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