Struck by a wave of Covid in its workforce, Everton had demanded the postponement of their Premier League meeting against Burnley on Sunday for Boxing Day (16 time). A request refused by the Premier League, despite 11 absences in the ranks of the Toffees.
Two weights, two measures? The Premier League had acceded to the request of the English clubs of reporter Liverpool-Leeds and Wolverhampton-Watford , next Sunday for Boxing Day. The match between Burnley and Everton was not eaten in the same way. Hard hit by the Covid epidemic and amputated by no less than eleven elements, the Toffees had formulated a request to postpone their meeting against the Clarets. Request refused by the PL, which argued that its regulations stipulate that in order to play, a team must be able to field at least 11 field players and a goalkeeper on the scoresheet. This is the case with Everton, despite its plethora of disabled elements. “We have six injured and five players sick from Covid. I think it is not fair,” however railed at a press conference the club’s coach, Rafael Benitez. The Leeds and Watford cases did not have the same fate as the coaches were unable to field 14 players to their respective squad.
“We have nine available outfielders plus three goalies”
” My main job now is to have players who can compete against Burnley. It’s not easy. I really am surprised that we are playing this game. We have nine available outfielders plus three goalkeepers, regretted Benitez, revealing that his club are therefore at the extreme limit of coming within the boxes of the regulation.
In difficulty in the league where his team occupies an unusual 14 e place in the standings, the coach knows that this decision will oblige him to align a team far from being competitive to try to stop a dirty spiral (1 only success during last days ). “We have to bring five young players s who seem to have enough experience to play in the Premier League. This is quite dangerous for us because we may have to include players who are not ready, who have shots or who have to play in a position which is not theirs. ”
Scheduled throughout Sunday, Boxing Day, the flagship event of the English Championship, is in turn disrupted by the resurgence of Covid cases- 19 caused by the Omicron variant in Great Britain . The Liverpool-Leeds and Wolverhampton-Watford carryovers are were added to ten others during the last two weeks. In total, 18 posters of the first four English divisions scheduled for Boxing Day have already been postponed .
Romain Daveau Journalist RMC Sport