Blackpool’s festive games to go ahead as planned as EFL opts to continue despite fixture disruption

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Fixtures in the EFL will continue as normal over the festive schedule despite the recent disruption caused by the spread of the Omicron variant.

 

It had been reported earlier today that clubs were due to have a meeting with the EFL to discuss whether or not to hold a “circuit breaker”, with a vote also mooted.

But the EFL has since come out and confirmed it will follow in the Premier League’ s footsteps and carry on as planned.

In a statement, the EFL say games should be played as normal when “it’s safe to do so”.

“While the League acknowledges there will likely be future postponements to navigate where Covid-19 cases are identified, there is optimism that disruption can be minimised following implementation of ‘RED’ protocols, a daily testing regime and ongoing vaccination rollout,” the EFL said.

Blackpool’s 3-1 win against Peterborough United on Saturday was just one of 14 3pm kick-offs in England’s top four divisions.

The Premier League’s 20 clubs, meanwhile, met earlier today to discuss how they could deal with the challenges faced after six fixtures were postponed because of Covid-19 numbers over the weekend.

Blackpool's game against Peterborough United on Saturday was one of few games to go ahead

Blackpool’s game against Peterborough United on Saturday was one of few games to go ahead

The postponement of a round of games over Christmas was a possibility.

It had been expected that gameweek 20, starting on December 28, would be postponed in order to ease the pressure on Premier League squads.

Instead, clubs have been advised if they have 13 fit players, plus a goalkeeper, they should fulfil their games.

A similar rule is in place in the EFL.

“Throughout the pandemic, our two priorities have been ensuring the welfare of those involved in EFL competitions and ensuring the fixture schedule can continue where it is safe to do so,” EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said.

“We will continue to work with clubs, authorities and other agencies to monitor the Covid-19 case rate and be prepared to respond accordingly, yet for now the view remains that we can continue to deliver games safely where clubs have sufficient healthy personnel in place, on and off the pitch.

“With club mitigation measures, the mass adoption of booster jabs and Covid certification now required for larger crowds, we are sure many fans will continue to feel confident in attending matches over the Christmas period and we look forward to welcoming them.”