Ori­ent Covid out­break puts cup clash in doubt

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Matt Law foot­ball news cor­re­spon­dent

Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur’s EFL Carabao Cup third-round clash against Ley­ton Ori­ent is in dan­ger of be­ing called off af­ter an out­break of coro­n­avirus hit the League Two club.

Ori­ent are due to en­ter­tain Spurs tonight in a tele­vised match, but the club were yes­ter­day forced to close their sta­dium and train­ing ground.

A num­ber of first-team play­ers re­ceived pos­i­tive coro­n­avirus tests yes­ter­day, plac­ing the tie in se­vere doubt and forc­ing a num­ber of play­ers and staff into iso­la­tion.

An Ori­ent state­ment read: “Fol­low­ing our game on Satur­day, Covid-19 test­ing was con­ducted on all of our first-team play­ing squad.

“To­day we re­ceived for­mal con­fir­ma­tion which shows that a num­ber of our first-team squad have tested pos­i­tive for Covid-19. We have in­formed the EFL and Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur and will make a fur­ther an­nounce­ment re­gard­ing Tues­day’s match shortly.

“We have also in­formed Mans­field Town, Ply­mouth Ar­gyle and Old­ham Ath­letic, our three most re­cent op­po­nents, prior to the pub­lic re­lease of this in­for­ma­tion.

“Ley­ton Ori­ent’s pri­or­ity is the health and well-be­ing of its play­ers and staff. Those who have tested pos­i­tive will now strictly fol­low govern­ment self-iso­la­tion guide­lines.

“The Breyer Group Sta­dium and train­ing ground fa­cil­i­ties will be closed un­til fur­ther no­tice. At this time, the club will make no fur­ther com­ment.”

It is un­der­stood there is no pro­to­col in the EFL com­pe­ti­tion reg­u­la­tions for this kind of post­pone­ment,

Shut­down: Ley­ton Ori­ent have been forced to close their sta­dium and train­ing fa­cil­ity

in terms of whether the match should be for­feited or resched­uled.

The EFL said it was await­ing re­sults of dis­cus­sions be­tween club medics and Pub­lic Health Eng­land be­fore de­cid­ing whether the game could go ahead.

It said in a state­ment: “The EFL has been made aware of pos­i­tive test re­sults recorded at Ley­ton Ori­ent and is await­ing the out­come of dis­cus­sions be­tween the club and Pub­lic Health Eng­land which will de­ter­mine what, if any, ac­tion is re­quired out­side of ad­her­ing to cur­rent pro­to­cols and guid­ance.”

Ply­mouth said they had ar­ranged a “pre­cau­tion­ary round of Covid-19 test­ing” ahead of their match with Shrews­bury on Satur­day and Mans­field Town have con­firmed they will do sim­i­lar ahead of this week­end’s fix­ture with Ex­eter City.

Both clubs added no one had shown any coro­n­avirus symp­toms.

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