The decision was made after the numerous cases of infected registered in the Liverpool club, which last Thursday had already demanded, through its coach Rafael Benítez, the postponement of the meeting.
However, despite the fact that the Spanish coach assured that, between infected and injured, he only had nine field players, the Premier League authorities rejected the postponement, although it was Everton himself who announced this Friday, December 24, that the game it had finally been postponed.
“Our Premier League meeting in Burnley the day after Christmas has been postponed as a result of the number of cases of covid-19 and injuries in our team,” the entity said in a statement.
The Premier League added for its part in another statement that it had made this “regrettable” decision after the meeting of the board of directors held this Friday after verifying “new injuries in the cash” of Everton, which was left with “an insufficient number of players available ”for that match.
It is the third match of the traditional ‘Boxing Day’ that must be postponed, after the same decision was made on Thursday at Liverpool-Leeds and Wolverhampton-Watford.
On Thursday there was a meeting between the Premier League, the coaches and the players to address this issue at a difficult time on the calendar with matches every day until January 3 (except December 31).
“Speak against a wall”
“Yesterday (Thursday) was like talking against a wall and for this reason I prefer not to talk about it,” said Tottenham Italian coach Antonio Conte this Friday.
“If I have to be honest, it was a meeting to discuss, some coaches tried to speak, to ask for solutions, but I think everything was already decided,” deplored the Italian.
Asked if he considered that meeting a waste of time, Conte declared: “For me, yes.”
🎙 Earlier today, Antonio Conte held his pre-Crystal Palace press conference!
Listen to what he had to say! ⤵️
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 24, 2021
Another coach, new to the Premier, German Ralf Rangnick, Manchester United’s interim manager, called for the removal of the League Cup to lighten the schedule.
“England is the only one of the five major championships that has two cup tournaments (…) I know that it is maintained so that the third and fourth division clubs improve their finances, but it is something (the abolition) that should be discussed when we speak of the load of the calendar and the great amount of parties that we play ”.
It’s been great having fans back in the stadium this season, and we all want it to remain that way 💪
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 24, 2021
Rangnick applauded the decision of the English Federation to end the ‘replays’ in the third and fourth rounds of the FA Cup. “It’s a good idea. In cup competitions in other countries, you have extra time and penalties ”.
There are already thirteen games postponed in the last two weeks in English football at a time when the United Kingdom registers a record of positive cases to covid-19, due to the omicron variant of the virus.
Earlier in the week, Premier League clubs refused to temporarily halt the championship.