Footballers' Covid tests on the day of matches are SCRAPPED in the EFL
Footballers’ Covid tests on the day of matches are SCRAPPED for the EFL’s 72 clubs, in a bid to stop games being called off at the last-minute, even with cases surging across the sport
- Footballers will no longer be required to take Covid tests on EFL matchdays
- The Football League has been hit by a surge of Covid outbreaks at various clubs
- Fans have been angered by late postponements just hours before kick off
- A player will now only be tested on matchday if they are showing symptoms
Footballers at EFL clubs will no longer take Covid tests on matchdays in a bid to stop last-minute postponements of games as all 72 clubs continue to battle with surging cases.
The move will come into force immediately and has been made in response to a number of late decisions surrounding the status of games across the country in recent weeks.
Such late decisions have led to fan anger with many supporters already travelling some distance to attend games, only to learn that they have been postponed.
Footballers will no longer be required to take Covid tests on the day of EFL matches
Blackburn Rovers fans made the 114-mile trip to Hull on Boxing Day to discover that the game had been called off just two hours before kick off.
The new protocols now state that no player will be tested on matchday unless he is showing Covid symptoms and the decision has been backed by medical experts who do not believe there is any potential risk in avoiding ‘on the day’ tests.
On Boxing Day. only nine of the 32 scheduled EFL matches went ahead as clubs battle with the surge of Covid cases in dressing rooms. Just two of the planned second tier games were played on Boxing Day, too.
In a similar vein, Wednesday saw 19 out of 28 EFL games postponed, with only two out of 11 League Two fixtures going ahead.
On Thursday morning, Tranmere Rovers announced that their game against Salford City would be postponed as a result of a spate of cases at the club.
The Premier League are not affected by the EFL’s new protocols. Earlier this month, Sportsmail reported that England’s top-flight tests its stars nine times a week, with players taking daily lateral flow tests and two PCR tests a week.
At a shareholders’ meeting of all 20 clubs on December 14, it was agreed to dramatically increase the level of testing and adopt the new schedule, although Sportsmail understands testing is optional on non training days.
One PCR test will be on the day before a match.
More to follow.
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