Newcastle United’s game at Premier League rivals Aston Villa on Friday has been postponed following a “significant increase” in Covid-19 cases at the Magpies’ training ground.
Several Newcastle players and staff members are self-isolating at home after returning positive test results. The club’s training ground at Darsley Park was closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Newcastle lodged a request with the Premier League to postpone the fixture at Villa Park, which was approved. Aston Villa said they “fully support” the Premier League’s decision to postpone the match.
“Everybody at Aston Villa wishes a speedy recovery to all those affected by the virus,” added the club.
A new date and time for the game will be confirmed in the future.
This is the first Premier League fixture this season to be postponed because of Covid cases.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce said on Friday – when his team won 2-0 at Crystal Palace – that three players and one member of staff had tested positive.
On Monday, the training ground was shut on the advice of Public Health England North East (PHE) and remained closed for the second successive day on Tuesday.
The Premier League said it agreed that Newcastle were unable to train and “safely prepare” for the match at Villa Park on Friday as a result.
After an “extensive consultation” with both clubs, PHE and Premier League advisors, the league said the decision was made to call off the match with “the health of players and staff the priority”.
Further tests will be given to the players and training ground staff this week. Newcastle, PHE and the Premier League will then hold another meeting to assess the results and decide on the next course of action.
Bruce’s side are next scheduled to play on Saturday, 12 December with a home match against West Bromwich Albion, before a trip to Leeds United four days later.