Coronavirus bulldozes the lower leagues as various games are postponed

Football ravaged by Covid: Rochdale and Morecambe both have two games postponed while Doncaster’s next three matches are off and Rotherham – who have three players isolating – WILL play on Tuesday just to avoid losing points!

  • Rochdale’s next two League One games have been postponed due to Covid-19
  • Dale’s game with Crewe on Tuesday and Saturday’s visit of MK Dons are now off
  • Morecambe’s fixtures against Bolton and Bradford have also been postponed 
  • Rotherham, on the other hand, will play their Championship game with Barnsley
  • The game will go ahead so that they avoid receiving a possible points deduction  

Rochdale’s next two Sky Bet League One games have been postponed due to coronavirus.

Dale’s home game with Crewe on Tuesday and Saturday’s visit of MK Dons are now off with players and staff from the hosts forced to self-isolate. 

Morecambe and Doncaster Rovers have also had their matches postponed, while Rotherham, on the other hand, will play their Championship game with Barnsley on Tuesday to avoid receiving a possible points deduction. 

Rochdale’s next two Sky Bet League One games have been postponed due to coronavirus

The news comes shortly after Man City announced that their clash with Everton on Monday night had been postponed after three more members of Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad tested positive for coronavirus.

Rochdale released a club statement that read: ‘We can confirm that Rochdale’s next two Sky Bet League One fixtures have been suspended.

‘The club has advised the EFL it is unable to fulfil the fixtures due to Covid-19, with players and first-team staff required to self-isolate in line with EFL and Government guidance.

‘As a result, the upcoming fixtures with Crewe Alexandra and Milton Keynes Dons scheduled to take place on Tuesday 29 December and Saturday 2 January, respectively, at the Crown Oil Arena, have been suspended and the circumstances surrounding the postponements will now be the subject of an investigation in accordance with EFL Regulations.’

In addition, Doncaster Rovers have also confirmed that their fixtures against Fleetwood Town, Peterborough United and Oxford United have all been postponed. 

Dale’s home game with Crewe on Tuesday and Saturday’s visit of MK Dons are now off

Morecambe’s upcoming fixtures against Bolton and Bradford have also been postponed

League Two Morecambe were due to play at Bolton on December 29 and away to Bradford on January 2.

However, a Morecambe statement read: ‘The club has informed the EFL and their opponents that it will not be able to play its next two games following an outbreak of Covid-19.

‘The decision follows detailed conversations today with both club and EFL medical staff.’

Morecambe football secretary and director Mick Horton said: ‘It is very disappointing that we have had to make this decision but the welfare of our players, staff and opponents remains the number one priority and, following detailed conversations with the relevant authorities, we have also decided to close our training ground for 10 days as well.’  

National League games at Barnet, Boreham Wood, Chesterfield, Dagenham & Redbridge and Sutton were also postponed on Monday after positive tests were returned at various clubs.

Rotherham boss Paul Warne has revealed the coronavirus-hit club will play their Championship game with Barnsley on Tuesday to avoid receiving a possible points deduction.

While Rotherham, on the other hand, will play their Championship game with Barnsley

The Millers’ last two games have been called off after an outbreak of the virus in the camp before Christmas and they were keen for the South Yorkshire derby to go the same way, but EFL doctors have ruled it can be played.

That is despite three players still being in isolation, with a fourth waiting on a test result, and one only ending quarantine on the day of the game.

Warne also has five long-term injuries that deplete his squad further and he has said he may only be able to name three substitutes.

Postponing the game would leave the Millers in jeopardy of EFL punishment – most likely a points deduction – and with his side in a relegation battle, Warne was not prepared to risk it.

‘We have been hit really bad. I don’t want games off, by the way. But in the circumstances, I feel a little bit on the hard end of the decision,’ he said.

‘It will be the first game I have been in charge of where I do not know what I am going to get.

‘I was advised that if we did not play the game, there would be retribution because I am going against medical advice.

Rotherham boss Paul Warne has revealed the game will go ahead to avoid any point reductions

‘The medical advice is that nine days’ isolation is enough as I have enough players in the football club to get the game on.

‘I do not want it on or to put anyone at risk. But now it is on, there is little I can do but pick the lads up.

‘We could have postponed it. But what I did not want to happen – which I was led to believe – was come March or April, the Premier League and Championship clubs get hit harder than League One and League Two clubs with Covid postponements and there was a fine because I am going against advice as they are saying the game is playable.

‘There was a fine with a possibility of a points deduction, which I do not want hanging over our heads.

‘Regrettably, we have taken the game on and must try and put out best foot forward against a very good Barnsley side.’




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