In the past few months, several Premier League games have had to be called off due to COVID outbreaks within various clubs and this has led to total scheduling disarray.
So far, the rules of a game postponement were very lucid but according to a report in the Daily Mail, the authorities are planning to change the rules in order to avoid such unwanted postponements.
The report claims that the Premier League are planning to introduce a new rule wherein clubs will have to prove at least four positive cases to get matches called off.
What’s the current rule for calling off a Premier League game?
As per the current rules, teams have to show they do not have 13 players including a goalkeeper in order to postpone a match. And the absentee list includes injuries as well as players who have gone for international duties.
COVID has been a major issue for several clubs but teams like Arsenal have also used this rule to postpone their North Lonon Derby where they have only one positive case whilst others were out with injuries or out playing for the AFCON.
What’s the new rule going to change?
As per the new rules, the clubs will have to show proof of at least four positive cases and no injury or other absentees will be taken into consideration.
The Premier League is planning to no longer look into the number of ‘available players’ but the number of ‘active Covid cases’ as the benchmark to calling off a particular fixture.
The Premier League has called a meeting of its 20 clubs on Wednesday to decide whether or not to change the rules on fixture postponements, as previously reported by The Athletic.https://t.co/0IH90yRXNw
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) January 25, 2022
How many games have been postponed so far?
So far as many as 22 games have been postponed and this has turned into a major nightmare for the authorities.
While teams like Chelsea have played 24 games to date, others such as Spurs and Leicester City have played 20 matches. Burnley who is currently sitting at the bottom of the table have managed to play only 18 games.
Can the Premier League enforce the new rules?
Any new rule to pass through requires the approval of at least 14 of the 20 clubs and as per the Daily Mail’s Mike Keegan, as many as 18 teams are currently in favour of this change.
Many teams such have Chelsea have seen multiple postponement requests being rejected so obviously they will feel a mid-season change is going to be unfair but if the Premier League needs to be wrapped up in time then there’s no other way.
At this rate, there’s no idea how many more games have to be called off so the most logical thing to do right now is to tighten the noose and force the clubs to use their academy players who are already registered in the league.
Also, the problems have been amplified due to the AFCON so once those players come back, a lot of the teams will be back to their full strength.
If this new rule is passed then the Premier League is planning to enforce it from the next round of fixtures.