Tottenham vs Fulham postponed LIVE: Reaction as match OFF due to Covid, Mourinho slams Prem – latest updates

TOTTENHAM's Premier League game with Fulham tonight has been called off after a coronavirus outbreak at the West London side.

The decision was taken just four hours before kick-off, with Jose Mourinho taking aim at Prem chiefs on Instagram.

Follow all the latest with our blog below…

  • Josh Graham

    GOOD MORNING PREM FANS

    Angry Spurs are demanding answers from Prem chiefs after their game with Fulham was called off barely three hours before kick-off.

    The late decision left Tottenham questioning why League bossed waited so long to respond to Fulham’s request for a postponement, which has plunged Spurs into a fixture crisis.

    Tottenham frustration intensified as Jose Mourinho, his staff and his players gathered to prepare for the Fulham match, which was still on until shortly after 2.30pm when both clubs were contacted.

    Prem chiefs explained the decision had been taken by the League Board “following a significant rise in positive Covid-19 cases as well as a number of players showing symptoms”.

    SunSport understands that six Fulham players and four staff tested positive, which did not trigger the automatic postponement threshold of having fewer than 14 senior players available.

    But the Cottagers had the back of Public Health England in their request and the Prem added: “The Board consulted its medical advisors and the decision to postpone the game has been taken as a precaution and with the health of players and staff as the priority.”

    The Fulham squad was then “retested immediately” in an attempt to allow Scott Parker’s men to fulfil Sunday’s trip to Burnley, while Mourinho’s players had an unexpected training session before heading home.

    Meanwhile, Manchester City have announced first team training will resume after a coronavirus outbreak at the club.

    The Citizens announced a number of players had tested positive over the weekend, resulting in the cancellation of their clash with Everton.

    City’s return to training means their game against Chelsea this weekend is set to go ahead.

    Frank Lampard may have been hoping for it to be axed following his side’s dismal Christmas run.

    City’s Carabao Cup semi against rivals United is also set to take place next week too.

  • Anthony Chapman

    FANDEMONIUM

    Next month's hotly-anticipated North-West derby between the league leaders Liverpool and second-placed Manchester United will be played behind closed doors.

    Fans will once again be banned from ALL English football stadiums from Thursday morning after a rapid rise in coronavirus cases.

    Liverpool and Everton were the only remaining Premier League sides allowed to host supporters – until an announcement by health secretary Matt Hancock on Wednesday afternoon.

  • Anthony Chapman

    MORE PREM COVID Q&A

    CAN’T THEY JUST MAKE UP THE GAMES?

    It’s not that easy. The delayed start means the Prem season, normally spread over 34 weekends, is actually being played over 32, with two extra midweek dates scheduled.

    But there is far less wriggle room after European games meant midweeks were unavailable until the middle of December.

    Prem fixture planners have set aside three “catch-up” dates – March 2, April 20 and May 19 – but there is still not enough room if teams go deep in Europe and the domestic cups.

    YES, BUT WHAT ABOUT EXTENDING THE SEASON?

    No can do. Unless there is a Europe-wide shutdown, the Prem must finish on May 23, to give players time to prepare for the delayed Euro 2020 starting in June.

    The Europa League and Champions League Finals are the following week, too.

    SO WHAT IF THERE IS A SERIES OF INFECTIONS?

    Being unable to complete the full season is the Prem’s worst fear, especially as clubs would have to confirm “curtailment rules” allowing a points per game calculation.

    They were already split on how many matches need to be played for the season to be deemed legitimate – and are now LESS likely to reach agreement. 

  • Anthony Chapman

    YOUR FOOTY COVID QUESTIONS ANSWERED

    WILL THE PREM SHUT DOWN?

    Not if League chiefs can avoid it, for many reasons.

    Scheduling is the main one, but they also risk losing yet more millions in TV company “rebates”, on top of the £340m the clubs have to pay back for LAST season.

    BUT WHY ARE GAMES BEING CALLED OFF?

    Prem rules actually say that postponement requests “will not be granted” if a club has 14 or more senior players available.

    But the League Board can exercise discretion “on a case by case basis” and both City’s trip to Everton and Spurs’ game with Fulham were postponed over fear of the virus being passed on to the opposition dressing room.

    THAT’S TWO GAMES. SO WHY ARE PEOPLE CONCERNED?

    City and United started the season a week late, because of their Euro exertions in the summer.

    So City are now two games behind, as are Aston Villa, who were due to play United on the opening weekend.

    Now Newcastle, Everton, Burnley, Spurs and Fulham are also a game shy of schedule.

  • Anthony Chapman

    PLAY ON

    The Premier League is confident it can avoid another coronavirus shutdown despite no clubs being allowed to host fans.

    It had been suggested a two week circuit-breaker was an option after a number of positive results at some outfits.

    But the Prem insists it is ready to play on.

    A statement read: “With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the League continues to have full confidence in its COVID-19 protocols and being able to continue to play our fixtures as scheduled.”

  • Anthony Chapman

    MORE ON SPURS’ FIXTURE WOES

    Tottenham frustration intensified as Mourinho, his staff and then and his players gathered to prepare for the Fulham match, which was still on until shortly after 2.30pm when both clubs were contacted.

    Prem chiefs explained the decision had been taken by the League Board “following a significant rise in positive Covid-19 cases as well as a number of players showing symptoms”.

    SunSport understands that six Fulham players and four staff tested positive, which did not trigger the automatic postponement threshold of having fewer than 14 senior players available.

    But the Cottagers had the back of Public Health England in their request and the Prem added: “The Board consulted its medical advisors and the decision to postpone the game has been taken as a precaution and with the health of players and staff as the priority.”

    The Fulham squad was then “retested immediately” in an attempt to allow Scott Parker’s men to fulfil Sunday’s trip to Burnley, while Mourinho’s players had an unexpected training session before heading home.

    But the postponement adds to Spurs’ fixture problems, with Mourinho’s men already facing a minimum seven games in three competitions next month before the Europa League resumes in February.

  • Anthony Chapman

    FROM SUNSPORT’S MARTIN LIPTON

    Angry Spurs are demanding answers from Prem chiefs after their game with Fulham was called off barely three hours before kick-off.

    The late decision left Tottenham questioning why League bossed waited so long to respond to Fulham’s request for a postponement, which has plunged Spurs into a fixture crisis.

    But as Spurs fumed, concerns about the security of the Prem campaign grew as:

    • Manchester City received the all-clear to return to training after emergency Covid tests
    • Everton revealed they were still awaiting an explanation from the League for the postponement of the City game
    • All top flight turnstiles were shut again as new Tiering restrictions closed Goodison and Anfield, the last two grounds where 2,000 fans were allowed
    • And non-league minnows Marine were told the biggest day in their history will now take place behind closed doors when they face Jose Mourinho’s Spurs in the FA Cup third round

    GIVE US A BREAK

    David Moyes yesterday accused the Premier League of double standards over calling games off for Covid-19.

    The West Ham boss told TalkSport: “From a distance it doesn’t look as if we are following the same rules for all teams.

    “I don’t know if it was a concern when I and two of my players got it. The game very quickly said ‘No, you’ve got to play on’.

    “We were told by the  Premier League as long as you had 14 fit players you had to do it, so those rules could do with getting cleared up with exactly what they are.

    “That’s what we are led to believe and if it is we feel we were treated differently at that time than the players are now.”

    NOT AGAIN

    Spare a thought for BBC 5Live and Amazon Prime Video commentator Conor McNamara.

    The broadcaster was set to guide fans through Man City's weekend clash with Everton before it was cancelled.

    And this afternoon he discovered his next game – Fulham vs Tottenham – had also been called off!

    • Anthony Chapman

      CITY SLICKERS

      City's return to training means their game against Chelsea this weekend is set to go ahead.

      Frank Lampard may have been hoping for it to be axed following his side's dismal Christmas run.

      City's Carabao Cup semi against rivals United is also set to take place next week too.

    • Jim Sheridan

      ICYMI

      Tottenham's game against Fulham has been called off due to a coronavirus outbreak – with Jose Mourinho far from happy with how it was handled.

      It is the third Premier League game of the season to be postponed following a surge in positive tests before kick-off.

      Fulham have suffered an outbreak ahead of the trip to North London.

      The highly-anticipated clash – which was set to kick-off at 6pm – will be rescheduled.

    • Jim Sheridan

      CITY BACK IN BUSINESS

      Manchester City have announced first team training will resume after a coronavirus oubreak at the club.

      The Citizens announced a number of players had tested positive over the weekend, resulting in the cancellation of their clash with Everton.

      A statement read: "The full Covid-19 bubble underwent testing yesterday, and results have so far revealed no new positive cases.

      "Safety remains our number one priority, and the Club will continue to proceed with great caution.

      "The first team training buildings have undergone a deep clean over the past 48 hours, and the majority of these facilities will remain closed, with only essential operations around training resuming.

      "The bubble will undergo further testing in the coming days, the results of which will inform and dictate the next steps.

      "Everyone at Manchester City continues to wish speedy recoveries to all of our colleagues who remain in self isolation following their positive tests."

    • Jim Sheridan

      NEW DATE

      Although tonight's match is off, the Premier League's statement confirmed that the game WILL be rearranged.

      With a packed fixture list coming up in the New Year, it remains to be seen when that will take place.

      Spurs are due to play Leeds on Saturday, before their EFL Cup semi-final with Brentford.

      Fulham meanwhile got to Burnley on Sunday before visiting QPR for a West London derby in the FA Cup a week later.

    • Alex Terrell

      COTTAGE STATEMENT

      Fulham revealed earlier today their trip to Tottenham Stadium would be in jeopardy after a spate of coronavirus positives at the club.

      They said in a statement: "The club can confirm that this evening's away fixture at Tottenham Hotspur has been postponed. This follows a number of the club's players and first team staff returning positive results from the most recent Covid-19 tests this week.

      "This decision follows discussions with the Premier League and advice from Public Health England.

      "Those players and staff who tested positive have been self-isolating in line with UK Government and Premier League guidance.

      "We wish the players and staff who tested positive a safe and speedy recovery."

    • Jim Sheridan

      STILL ON

      The show still goes on in Newcastle tonight, despite the area being plunged into Tier 4 restrictions.

      Toon welcome Liverpool having dealt with their own outbreak at the club this month, which left a number of players bed bound.

      Steve Bruce had a warning for Man City after their positive tests last week – and revealed the crippling effect coronavirus has had on his team.

      He said: "I am no scientist but I have seen Man City have got two players today. I hope, for their sake, they don't go into double figures, and things like that.

      "We are witnessing the after-effects still. Still we have got problems with it. It doesn't just come and go over you. It has been a big factor over the last couple of weeks."

    • Jim Sheridan

      TELL ME MOUR

      Safe to say that the timing of the decision hasn't gone down that well with a certain Jose Mourinho.

      The Tottenham boss indicated the club wasn't sure if the game was going ahead or not at 2pm, posting a video from the stadium.

      And there was thinly veiled sarcasm in his caption: "Match at 6 pm… We still don’t know if we play. Best league in the world"

      View this post on Instagram

      A post shared by Jose Mourinho (@josemourinho)

    • Jim Sheridan

      CLOSE CIRCUIT

      Is the Premier League headed for a two-week circuit break after the latest postponement?

      We'll have more analysis soon, but from that Premier League statement and noises from the pundits, it still doesn't look likely.

      A certain Mr Neville is very keen that the show goes on..

    • Jim Sheridan

      PREM STATEMENT

      "Fulham FC’s match at Tottenham Hotspur, due to be played at 6pm this evening, has been postponed following a Premier League Board meeting this afternoon.

      "Fulham lodged a request with the Premier League Board to rearrange the fixture following a significant rise in positive COVID-19 cases, as well as a number of players showing symptoms today.

      "The Premier League Board has consulted its medical advisors and the decision to postpone the game has been taken as a precaution and with the health of players and staff as the priority. The group will now be retested immediately.

      "With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the Premier League continues to have full confidence in its COVID-19 protocols and being able to continue to play our fixtures as scheduled.

      "The League wishes those with COVID-19 a safe and speedy recovery and will rearrange the postponed fixture between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham in due course."

    • Jim Sheridan

      GAME OFF

      After a lengthy wait through the day, Fulham's clash with Tottenham has been called off.

      The game was in doubt as early as last night, with the West London side reporting a number of positive Covid tests in the Premier League weekly rounds.

      A Tottenham statement read: "We can confirm that our Premier League home fixture against Fulham, scheduled to take place this evening (Wednesday 30 December), has been postponed.

      "The Premier League informed us of the decision this afternoon, with Fulham having requested the postponement on the grounds of the number of COVID-19 positive cases among their players and staff.

      "'Everyone at Tottenham Hotspur sends their best wishes to Fulham for a safe and speedy recovery to all those who are affected. Details of a new date for the fixture will be confirmed in due course."

      But manager Jose Mourinho seems far from happy and has taken a swipe at the 'best league in the world' tag on his Instagram page.

      Accompanying a video taken outside of the ground today, he wrote: "Match at 6pm… We still don't know if we play. Best league in the world."

      After Man City's game with Everton was postponed earlier in the week, we've the latest reaction as the Premier League potentially hurtles towards futher postponements – and maybe even an enforced break.

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