Portsmouth clash with AFC Wimbledon off as Covid hits Blues squad

Pompey’s clash with AFC Wimbledon has been postponed with Covid cases among Danny Cowley’s squad

By Jordan Cross
Friday, 17th December 2021, 2:14 pm
Updated Friday, 17th December 2021, 2:55 pm

The Blues returned a number of positive PCR tests among the playing staff as results were received today after testing on Thursday.

With injuries already decimating Blues boss Cowley’s options, it means they are unable to field enough players to fulfil the League One fixture at Plough Lame.

Yesterday, the EFL moved to implement a regime of enhanced training ground protocols and increased testing amid a rise in positive coronavirus cases throughout the country.

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Pompey's trip to Wimbledon's Plough Lane has been postponed. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

It also provided updated guidance on the minimum number of available players that are required to fulfil a fixture.

This recommend that clubs will be expected to play where it has 14 players, including a goalkeeper, available from the club’s registered squad list.

Under 21 players not on the squad list but have played one league match are also included, while any other contracted player not on the squad list but otherwise would have been eligible to play also qualifies.

Pompey’s decision to postpone tomorrow’s trip to Wimbledon suggests they have less than the recommended 14 players, although if remains unclear how many have tested positive for Covid.

Announcing the decision to cancel the Plough Lane game, a statement from the EFL read: ‘Portsmouth’s League One fixture versus AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, December 18 has been postponed.

‘Portsmouth informed the EFL that it would be unable to fulfil the fixture at the Cherry Red Records Stadium due to a number of positive Covid-19 cases in their squad.

‘In light of the increased transmission rate of the Omicron variant, the EFL will now review the circumstances surrounding the postponement.

‘In addition, it will assist affected clubs throughout this challenging period to help them mitigate against the risk of infection amongst players and staff, while ensuring their obligations to the EFL regulations are maintained.

‘A rearranged date for the fixture will be confirmed in due course.’

Fans who have bought tickets for the fixture should note that they will remain valid for the rearranged date.

As well as Pompey’s game, the League One matches at Bolton, Burton, Gillingham, Lincoln and Sheffield Wednesday have also been postponed for coronavirus-related issues.