Daily Express

WE MUST FACE SPURS

Ori­ent in plea af­ter virus KOs big match

- By John Cross Sports · Soccer · Tottenham Hotspur Football Club · Paris Saint-Germain FC · Leyton F.C. · Leyton Orient F.C. · Public Health England · England · Hotel Chelsea · Eric Morecambe · Brentford F.C. · Nigel Travis

LEY­TON ORI­ENT chair­man Nigel Travis has pleaded for their Carabao Cup tie against Tot­ten­ham to be resched­uled af­ter it was called alled off be­cause of a coro­n­avirus us out­break.

The EFL were thought to be about to an­nounce Ori­ent would have to for­feit the tie be­fore Travis, right, in­ter­vened.

He pleaded with the EFL to set a new date, and of­fi­cials will de­cide to­day whether the game should be resched­uled or for­feited. Tot­ten­ham al­ready have an over­crowded fix­ture list and can­not see a space in the cal­en­dar. Post­pon­ing the game would cause more fix­ture chaos af­ter a sham­bolic 24 hours

wait­ing to see if the Ori­ent tie could go ahead.

But Travis, whose club stand to lose out on £ 150,000 in TV cash if the tie is not resched­uled, says Premier League clubs would be treated bet­ter and if the game is for­feited then it will en­cour­age other clubs not to test play­ers.

Travis said: “I’ve said it pub­licly and I re­it­er­ate it here – we think the ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion is for this game to take place.

“Can you imag­ine the out­rage if, say, in the fourth round, Spurs vs Chelsea... one of those teams were im­pacted in the same way and the game didn’t take place? This clearly is not a good pol­icy. Ley­ton Ori­ent have fol­lowed all the guide­lines and have done the right things.”

It is be­lieved 25 Ori­ent play­ers were tested and the ma­jor­ity of the

re­sults were pos­i­tive. The club’s sta­dium and train­ing ground have now been closed down by Pub­lic Health Eng­land as they will have to un­dergo a deep clean.

It means the game could not be played next week be­cause the play­ers would still be un­der­go­ing 10 days of self- iso­la­tion.

They then can­not re­sume train­ing for another two days af­ter re­turn­ing a neg­a­tive test. Last night’s tie was not called off of­fi­cially un­til less than three hours be­fore kick- off as the EFL and Tot­ten­ham were wait­ing on Pub­lic Health Eng­land to deem it un­safe while Ori­ent were plead­ing to save the game.

Tot­ten­ham had as­sumed that Ori­ent would for­feit the match be­cause they could not ful­fil the fix­ture and that would leave them with a bye to face the win­ners of the Chelsea- Barns­ley tie next week.

Spurs al­ready have Premier League and Europa League ties to play.

Tot­ten­ham did pay for Ori­ent’s play­ers to be tested and other Premier League clubs have of­fered to do the same for EFL teams.

But it is un­der­stood More­cambe, Lu­ton and Brent­ford have not been tested ahead of fac­ing top- flight op­po­si­tion this week.

The EFL no longer in­sists on weekly tests.

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 ??  ?? GROUND FOR CON­CERN: Ori­ent’s empty sta­dium
GROUND FOR CON­CERN: Ori­ent’s empty sta­dium

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