Tottenham's Premier League game against Fulham has been postponed after an outbreak of COVID-19 swept through the latter team.
As CBS Sports reported last night, several positive coronavirus cases were found within the Fulham setup following the latest round of Premier League testing and the west London club requested that the game be postponed earlier Wednesday.
However the Premier League insists that it does not believe that the upswing in coronavirus cases within the competition will force it to adapt its fixture list following a second postponement in the space of a week. In the period Dec. 21-27, 18 players and staff tested positive across the league's 20 clubs. That is the highest figure since testing began.
Due to take place at 6 p.m. local time, the two sides were informed less than four hours before kick-off that the game would take place. As the two squads awaited news, Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho posted on Instagram: "Match at 6pm... We still don't know if we play. Best league in the world."
Want more coverage on how COVID-19 is impacting the Premier League and the world of soccer? Listen below and subscribe to ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.
A Premier League statement said: "Fulham lodged a request with the Premier League Board to rearrange the fixture following a significant rise in positive COVID-19 cases, as well as a number of players showing symptoms today.
"The Premier League Board has consulted its medical advisors and the decision to postpone the game has been taken as a precaution and with the health of players and staff as the priority. The group will now be retested immediately.
"With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the Premier League continues to have full confidence in its COVID-19 protocols and being able to continue to play our fixtures as scheduled.
"The League wishes those with COVID-19 a safe and speedy recovery and will rearrange the postponed fixture between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham in due course."
The match is the third Premier League fixture of the season to be postponed due to coronavirus and follows the suspension of Manchester City's game against Everton after several positive tests within the club, including first-team players Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus.
City players returned to training on Wednesday after further testing revealed no new cases among their first-team. Their match against Chelsea on Sunday is set to go ahead as planned.
Meanwhile Sheffield United played their game on Tuesday, a 1-0 defeat to Burnley, with several players absent due to COVID-19 and Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was forced to manage from home in his side's game with West Ham after coming in contact with an individual who had tested positive.
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder said on Tuesday: "I think this is the start of something, I don't think we're going to be the first team to be hit by it. Five or six of the backroom staff have been hit by it and obviously some players as well.
"Nobody's looking for an exit, nobody's looking for the season to be canned ... But all the numbers suggest it's either at its peak or it's getting worse."
As news broke of Tottenham's fixture postponement the United Kingdom government announced that the Liverpool region had been moved into the third of the four tiers of local coronavirus restrictions. That means that Liverpool and Everton, the only two Premier League clubs who had been allowed to welcome 2,000 supporters to their ground, will now no longer be able to have fans in their stadium.