London, Jan 27 (IANS) Premier League clubs can apply for a fixture postponement only if they have a minimum of four positive Covid-19 cases in their squads, the league said on Wednesday following a meeting of representatives of all 20 clubs.
The guidance change comes after a series of controversial decisions to call off matches, with clubs using a combination of coronavirus, injuries, suspensions and players on international duty to postpone games.
A total of 22 match postponements due to coronavirus and other factors in the Premier League this season.
Earlier, a match could be postponed if one of the teams did not have 13 available outfield players — and one goalkeeper — “either from its squad list or its appropriately experienced Under-21 players”.
“Following a club meeting today, the Premier League’s Covid-19 match postponement guidance has been updated to include a Covid-19 impact threshold,” the league said in a statement.
“From now on, if a club applies to postpone a match on the grounds of insufficient players due to Covid-19, they must have a minimum of four positive cases within their squad,” it added.
The new guidance will come into effect ahead of the next Premier League fixture on Saturday when Burnley host Watford.