According to manager Brendan Rodgers, Leicester’s request to postpone Thursday’s match against Tottenham due to a coronavirus outbreak was denied by the Premier League.
Rodgers stated at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday that he will be missing nine players due to positive Covid tests, illness, and injury.
Tottenham’s last two matches, against Rennes in the Europa League and Brighton in the Premier League, have been canceled due to an outbreak in which at least eight players and five staff members tested positive.
Manchester United’s trip to Brentford on Tuesday has also been postponed due to multiple incidents in the United camp.
“We have looked at it but unfortunately for us, we weren’t granted a dispensation,” said Rodgers.
“As a team and a club we have always wanted to support all the measures but when we need a little support with the extreme situation we find ourselves in we weren’t able to get it.”
Leicester were missing seven players for last week’s 3-2 loss to Napoli, which knocked them out of the Europa League, as well as Sunday’s 4-0 win over Newcastle.
Rodgers stated that the extra absentees from the weekend were due to injuries rather than additional coronavirus cases.
The Northern Irishman, on the other hand, believes the injuries were caused by fatigue as his squad was stretched due to the Covid outbreak.
“There was a big doubt for the game against Newcastle on Sunday, but for the greater good of the game and for the supporters it went ahead,” added Rodgers.
“We’ve had more injuries since then. They are not Covid-related but they are because players are picking up injuries because we can’t rotate the team and the squad because of the number of players we already have out.”
Rodgers has joined an increasing number of Premier League managers in requesting clarification on the number of positive cases required for a match to be postponed.
So far, the Premier League has accepted or rejected postponement requests on a case-by-case basis.
Tottenham have a fixture backlog after their final Premier League match before the outbreak at Burnley was also rescheduled due to inclement weather.
Spurs manager Antonio Conte said he would have preferred the game to be rescheduled as well, but believes the Premier League’s decision was motivated by a potential fixture overload.
“The Premier League did not want to postpone the game against Leicester,” said the Italian. “Perhaps because we have Burnley and Brighton coming up and have already had two games postponed.”
Conte will have some of his players who tested positive for Covid available for selection at the King Power Stadium, but he will not start them due to the virus’s and self-impact isolation’s on their fitness.
“(Some) players are back in training and other players continue to be isolated. For the players who have returned to training, it will take some time for them to regain their fitness and physical condition “Conte elaborated.
“When you have Covid is not only 10 days, with this virus you make your body not so strong. As a result, you must proceed cautiously.”