26 December 2021

Crystal Palace fail in bid to get Tottenham clash postponed after Covid outbreak with boss Vieira affected

26 December 2021

Crystal Palace failed in their attempt to get Boxing Day’s visit to Tottenham called off due to coronavirus.

Palace were in discussions with the Premier League on Christmas Day about postponing their trip across the capital following a number of new positive cases, which include boss Patrick Vieira, but the PA news agency understands the league was dissatisfied with the late application.

Former Arsenal midfielder Vieira will not be present at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as he begins a period of self-isolation following his positive result, with assistant manager Osian Roberts taking charge.

Vieira revealed on Christmas Eve that there were a “couple of cases” in the camp, but the increase over the following 48 hours was not deemed enough to see the game cancelled.

The Premier League announced last week that a game will be played if a team has 13 fit outfield players and a goalkeeper.

Both clubs announced the game would go ahead in its scheduled 3pm slot shortly before midday on Boxing Day.

Palace later tweeted: “We can confirm that Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira is self-isolating after returning a positive test for Covid-19, and will be absent from the touchline for today’s match against Spurs.

“Assistant manager Osian Roberts will deputise for Vieira for today’s match.”

The festive calendar has been decimated by the virus, with Premier League games between Liverpool-Leeds, Wolves-Watford and Burnley-Everton already postponed while just 10 games across the Football League survived.

Another League Two game scheduled for midweek has also been called off.

Leyton Orient announced Wednesday’s home clash against Newport has been postponed.

Orient said Newport had informed the EFL of a Covid-19 outbreak at the club.

A statement on Orient’s official website read: “Newport County informed the EFL that it would be unable to fulfil the fixture at the Breyer Group Stadium due to a number of positive COVID-19 cases in their squad.

“In light of the increased transmission rate of the Omicron variant, the EFL will now review the circumstances surrounding the postponement.”

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