The Premier League continues to be attacked by Covid-19, but is holding on to stay alive without a stoppage of activities. After Boxing Day, in which three games were suspended in advance, the postponement of one more game was announced, reaching 18 in total.
This is the duel between Aston Villa and Leeds United, corresponding to matchday 20 and which was to be played on Tuesday, December 28. After the second team did not show an improvement in the registration of its players in protocols Covid-19 (the days of confinement have not yet passed), the league decided to postpone this game to add the total amount of 18.
“Although we do not have any new cases of Covid-19 in our squad, most of the players who had tested positive before the game against Liverpool (already postponed) have not yet come out of isolation,” the club trained by explained in its statement. the Argentine Marcelo Bielsa.
The postponed games started from Sunday 12 December with Brighton against Tottenham, due to an outbreak in the first of those teams. Since then, the teams with the most games postponed are Burnley with four (against Aston Villa, Everton, Watford and Tottenham) and Brighton with three (Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United), as well as Tottenham (against Brighton, Burnley and Leicester City).
The postponements have also affected 18 teams with at least one match, in a reflection of how the Premier League It is the elite league in Europe with one of the lowest vaccination rates. Its rate with double doses reaches 77%, while in the Italian Serie A the figure reaches 98% or in the German Bundesliga it is 94%. A 16% of footballers of the top championship of England, approximately 100 elements, have not acceded to a single vaccine for fear of secondary effects that derive in a heart attack, according to an investigation of the newspaper La Nación.
Concern about possible side effects has become widespread. A series of high-profile recent incidents in which players suffered heart problems while on the pitch, including Christian Eriksen, the Danish midfielder who collapsed at last summer’s Euro Cup, and Sergio Agüero, the Barcelona striker who has just finished retiring, has fueled suspicions about vaccines among some players.
Some members of the clubs’ medical staff maintain that the suspicion has been encouraged by a handful of retired players, for example, former English midfielder Matt Le Tissier and Trevor Sinclair, who served in Manchester City and West Ham, who have pointed out incidents in the field as a possible consequence of vaccination publicly.
As if that weren’t enough, this week also revealed two positive cases among renowned Premier League managers: Patrick Vieira of Crystal Palace and Steven Gerrard of Aston Villa. The first was detected in the last analysis prior to the clash between his team and Tottenham on Boxing Day, for which he had to leave the position to his technical assistant, Osian Roberts. Immediately afterwards, he was placed in isolation as indicated by the protocols.
Gerrard, for his part, also tested positive for the weekend’s Aston Villa-Chelsea matchup. Nor could he be present for Tuesday’s game against Leeds, but the postponement of this last game will allow him to rejoin with more time. In all, 25 Boxing Day games were postponed in the four major divisions of English football after two more EFL games were canceled on Sunday.