BEVERLY HILLS, January 14, (THEWILL) – In what is becoming a common weekly feature of the English Premier League, the postponement of the scheduled Premier League game between Aston Villa and Everton this Sunday has been announced. Villa was forced to postpone the fixture due to the lasting impact of a COVID-19 outbreak in their camp.
In actual fact, it is the second top flight game to be postponed this week, after Fulham stepped in for Villa to play Tottenham in Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw at the Tottenham Stadium in London.
Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground was closed last week as a result of a rise in cases, but the club say the outbreak is now “under control” and that they expect “healthy” players and staff to return to training on the 17th, at the end of their periods of isolation.
With that reassurance, the earlier-postponed match between Villa and Newcastle, called off at the start of December due to a similar COVID-19 situation on Tyneside, will now be played on Saturday, January 23 at 8pm. That is an FA Cup weekend and will be free for both of these non-FA Cup sides.
Villa put out a statement on Thursday that said:
“The Club would like to express its immense gratitude to the medical experts who have helped us to get a significant Covid-19 outbreak under control, as well as the Premier League board and our fellow clubs for their understanding during this period.
“We expect that members of the first team squad and staff who are healthy and safe to return to training will do so on Sunday when the isolation protocols will have been observed.
“The Club continues to wish all those affected by the virus a speedy recovery.”
Rescheduling all these postponed games will be tricky as some teams may not be so fortunate to have free weekends in the congestion of the calendar at the season progresses. The FA may want to take that into consideration as outbreaks spread across training grounds.
For now, nothing has changed for the English FA and it still holds out on any necessity for a mid-season halt with the unshakable decision that the show must go on since COVID-19 protocols and testing are proving to be working.