Southampton’s FA Cup third-round tie with Shrewsbury will not take place on Saturday as scheduled after the League One club reported a significant number of positive Covid-19 cases.
On Wednesday, the club notified the Football Association that several players and staff members had tested positive for coronavirus, in addition to two positive tests last week, one confirmed as midfielder Marc Pugh
No club will automatically have to forfeit an FA Cup game if they are affected by coronavirus, with each case to be assessed by the FA on its individual circumstances, Sky Sports News understands. A final decision about the fixture will be made early next week.
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It’s the second Shrewsbury match to be affected by coronavirus after the League One fixture with Crewe on January 2 was postponed.
The FA said in a statement: “Shrewsbury Town FC’s fixture against Southampton FC in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round Proper will not be taking place on Saturday 9 January 2021 at 20:00 as scheduled.
“Shrewsbury Town FC informed The FA that there have been a significant number of positive COVID-19 cases at the club such that they did not have a sufficient amount of fit, non-isolating players who would be able to play in the fixture. Shrewsbury Town FC provided The FA with details of the medical advice it had received and its communications with local Public Health England and liaised with The FA’s COVID Medical Officer for the Emirates FA Cup.
“The FA also requested and considered further information regarding Shrewsbury Town FC’s ability to fulfil the fixture.
“There will be a meeting of The FA’s Professional Game Board early next week to make a decision as to what will happen with the fixture.
“The FA hopes that all those testing positive for COVID-19 have a full and swift recovery.”
All teams in the FA Cup are being tested 72 hours before their fixtures.
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The FA has told clubs taking part in the FA Cup third round that they should field a team if they have at least 14 fit players, which can include youth team players, as they seek to avoid a fixture pile-up.
Derby County confirmed they will send a group of under-23 and under-18 players to play in the FA Cup at Chorley on Saturday following a coronavirus outbreak which has closed their training ground.
Interim manager Wayne Rooney, his coaching staff, and the whole of Derby’s first-team squad are set to miss the match because of the outbreak.
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