Everton were due to play Manchester City in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Monday night, but the game was postponed on medical grounds due to an increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the City squad.
The Toffees released a statement on their official website:
Everton Football Club regret the postponement of tonight’s match against Manchester City – not only for the 2,000 fans who would have been attending, but for supporters on Merseyside and across the world.
Our players were prepared for the game, as were both the team staff and everyone at Goodison. Matchday is the most important date in our calendar. And this was a big one.
Whilst Everton will always have public safety uppermost, we will be requesting full disclosure of all the information that Manchester City provided to the Premier League so the Club can be clear on why this decision was taken.
The decision has clearly left the Everton fan base frustrated, although taking the bigger picture into account, it was possibly the most sensible measure taken by the league.
According to reports from The Guardian, City’s training ground has been closed for an indefinite period after a number of their players were tested positive for Covid-19 following the latest round of testing.
The likes of Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker were confirmed COVID positive on Christmas Day, while three new players have now been infected.
The fixture will now be re-arranged. The Premier League took the decision of postponing the game after a board meeting yesterday.
The Premier League guidelines, however, state that requests for a postponement will be rejected unless a club has fewer than 14 players available. It remains to be seen how it unfolds in the next few days as Everton have now requested “full disclosure” of the information.
This is how many Everton fans have reacted to the official statement:
Well done to the club coming out and saying this. Fight our corner 👏🏻💙
— The Toffee Blues (@EvertonNewsFeed) December 28, 2020
Respect to Everton, laws are if you can field 14 players then you need to play and City do have one of the deepest squads around…
Playing at a later date is an advantage to City especially with their shoddy record on Merseyside and Everton flying high!
— Yaseen Chotta (@YaseenChotta) December 28, 2020
City are running scared. Didn’t want the Michael Keane heat
— . (@FinKitch) December 28, 2020
100% agree. I thought if they had 14 senior players available then the game goes ahead.Yes they isolate if positive but those who don't should play? The full information will be interesting to read & it will also be interesting if Utd get a bye on the Carabao Cup like Spurs did.
— Stu (@SAnderson78uk) December 28, 2020
Get the 3 points off them. Can’t be one rule for certain clubs and then the rest have to give up the points
— Liam (@liam_hefc) December 28, 2020
Leyton Orient had to forfeit their place in the cup for the same reason against Spurs. City could have fielded a team, but chose not to, because some of their first team were out.
— Dave Seed ™ (@dave_seed) December 28, 2020
We should get 3 points but I doubt we will. Look it when tottenham were handed League Cup round after Leyton Orient had coronavirus outbreak rules should apply the same and if not City should of played under 23s if fit.
— James jennings (@xjames123x) December 28, 2020
City’s upcoming matches against Chelsea on Sunday and Manchester United the following Wednesday in the Carabao Cup semi-final are in doubt.