London, December 24 (IANS): Everton’s Boxing Day match at Burnley has been postponed due to Covid-19 cases and injuries at the club, the Premier League announced on Friday. Everton had made an initial request to postpone the game but this was turned down despite head coach Rafael Benitez claiming he only had nine fit players for the game.
Everton confirmed the development on Friday, saying: “Our Premier League game at Burnley on Boxing Day has been postponed due to the number of Covid-19 cases and injuries in our squad.”
The Premier League said they took the “regrettable” decision to postpone the game following a board meeting on Friday.
“The board today considered the club’s request to postpone the game following further injuries to their team,” the Premier League said in a statement.
“The club will not be able to complete their game this weekend due to an insufficient number of players available to play due to cases of Covid-19 and injuries.”
Benitez said on Thursday he was “surprised” the game went ahead, after two matches – Liverpool against Leeds and Wolves against Watford – were postponed due to Covid cases.
Liverpool’s clash with Leeds and Watford’s trip to Wolves, also scheduled for Sunday, had already been postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak.
A total of 13 games have now been called off in the past two weeks as Britain battles a record number of positive Covid cases due to the Omicron variant of the virus.