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Premier league changes postponement rule on covid-19

The premiere league has introduced a new rule concerning the postponement of matches due to covid-19, after the recent postponement of a high number of top-flight matches.

A new rule will be introduced next month, where premier League clubs will have to prove they have at least four Covid-19 cases to get matches called off, under new guidance announced on Wednesday.

A total of 22 top-flight games were postponed in December and January because of the pandemic.

The rules will be introduced before the Burnley versus Watford fixture, set to be played on 5 February after already being postponed twice.

A Premier League statement said the rules are designed

"to protect the wellbeing of players and staff" and "maintain the sporting integrity".

Previously, clubs could request a match to be postponed if they did not have 13 available players as well as a goalkeeper.

However, teams were claiming opponents were including injured players as well as those on Africa Cup of Nations duty in Cameroon in the figures of players available.

The Premier League said requests for postponements would continue to be assessed on "a case-by-case basis" and added:

"Throughout the pandemic, the Premier League has adapted its guidance in response to the wider public health situation."

The guidance was last updated in December in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant.

"The Premier League Board examines a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of Covid-19; and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match."

Additionally, the league have said Covid passes will no longer be needed as a condition of entry to a Premier League match.

However, clubs have been urged to "follow public health guidance to keep each other safe on a matchday" and supporters should wear face masks when "indoors or in crowded areas" of the stadium. (BBC Sport)

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