Ahead of the first set of new year fixtures, Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta has added his name to a growing list of Premier League managers unhappy with the late postponements of games because of positive covid tests.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Jose Mourinho hasn’t been vocal as such, but has made some pointed comments via his official social media accounts after the recent fixture again Fulham was postponed less than four hours before kick-off.
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That follows a similarly late shelving of the Everton v Man City game for the same reason.
“Now we need another protocol, clear guidelines of what to do and what not to do and the timeline,” Arteta was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
“We cannot be waiting until the last two hours [to find out] whether we are playing a football match or not.
“We should know a little bit earlier and at least have an open communication with the three parties, the two teams involved in the game and the Premier League and make a decision about what is right to do in that moment but with a little bit of time.
“I don’t know the best way. I’m sure the doctors will find the best way. What is important again is that we have an open communication and if something is happening we should know early so we can get prepared.”
The Daily Mail suggest that the problems in this regard may well continue because there are so many variables to what is a fluid situation. Not least because there is no guaranteed return time for covid test results.
As the Premier League still intend to plough on with fixtures despite the rise in positive coronavirus cases, the very least they can do, given what’s on the line if a fixture doesn’t go ahead, is to be pro-active.