Manchester United is the latest club to suffer an outbreak of COVID19, with the club postponing its match against Brentford for Tuesday as a result.
A number of players and staff returned positive lateral flow tests on Sunday morning and were sent home from training. The club canceled all first-team training before talks with the Premier League led to the game being called off.
There are now fears the outbreak could spread even further, with the club shutting its first-team operations Carrington base and deciding against traveling to London ahead of the scheduled fixture.
What did Man Utd and the Premier League say about the cancellation?
A club statement on Monday night read: “Manchester United can confirm that our Premier League fixture at Brentford FC, on Tuesday 14 December at 19:30, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course.
“Following PCR confirmation of positive LFT Covid-19 tests among the first team staff and players, the outbreak requires ongoing surveillance. A decision was taken to close first team operations at the Carrington Training Complex for 24 hours to help minimise risk of further infection, and individuals who tested positive are isolating in line with Premier League protocols.
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“Given cancellation of training and disruption to the squad, and with the health of players and staff the priority, The Club requested the match to be rearranged. The Premier League Board took the decision to postpone based on guidance from medical advisors.
“Manchester United regrets the inconvenience caused to Brentford FC and to the fans of both clubs by Covid-19.”
Additionally, the Premier League posted its own statement.
“The decision was taken following guidance from medical advisers due to the exceptional circumstances of an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak within Manchester United’s squad,” wrote the Premier League. “First-team operations at the club’s Carrington Training Complex were closed down today to help control the outbreak and minimise risk of further infection among players and staff.
“The League wishes a quick recovery to those players and staff with COVID-19. The postponed fixture will be rearranged in due course.
“With the health of players and staff the priority, and in light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, the Premier League has reintroduced Emergency Measures. These include protocols such as more frequent testing, wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing and limiting treatment time.”
What do we know?
Goal understands the whole group that traveled to Norwich on Saturday tested negative in the latest round of routine tests.
However, a fresh round of lateral flow testing on Sunday morning returned a small number of positive tests among players and staff.
Those who had tested positive were subsequently sent home, with the Premier League informed of the situation.
Those who remained trained outdoors with the training schedule adjusted to individual and non-contact sessions.
In July, the club had a COVID scare when nine players and staff recorded positive lateral flow tests which forced the cancellation of a preseason friendly against Preston North End.
Consequent PCR tests came back negative and the initial results were deemed false positives.
News of this latest outbreak comes after Tottenham’s Europa Conference League tie against Rennes on Thursday was canceled after 13 Spurs players and staff tested positive for the virus.
Sunday’s Premier League match against Brighton was also called off as a precaution.