Everton were earlier scheduled to host Manchester City at Goodison Park on Monday. Few hours before the match, the Premier League announced that the match has been canceled due to coronavirus cases in Manchester City’s squad.
The number of players that contracted the virus in Manchester City’s squad that forced the Premier League to cancel the match has not been revealed. The only information that was in the open was that the City’s main striker Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker had tested positive for coronavirus.
Besides the two players, it was revealed that two staff at Manchester City also tested positive for the virus. But no other case has been made public aside from the four aforementioned cases.
Everton insisted that the club and the 2,000 spectators that would have watched the match at Goodison Park on Monday were ready for the game before it was announced that the game has been canceled. Hence, the Merseyside club urged the Premier League to reveal to them the full disclosure that Manchester City gave the Premier League that warranted the cancellation of the match.
“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,” a club statement read.
“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.”
On the other hand, Manchester City issued a statement on Monday to explain why the match had to be canceled. In the statement, the Manchester club revealed that the club returned several positive cases in the latest round of the Covid-19 test in addition to the four cases that were reported on Christmas Day.
“With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond”, Manchester City’s statement read.
“Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture.
“All positive cases involving players and staff will observe a period of self-isolation by Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine. The first team training ground at City Football Academy will close for an indeterminate period, with the squad and associated bubble undergoing testing before any decision is made for training to resume.
“Everyone at the club wishes all of our colleagues a speedy recovery ahead of their return to work, training, and competition.”
As it stands, the Premier League is yet to fix a new date for the match. Hence, Manchester City will continue with other fixtures likewise Everton.
Manchester City’s next Premier League fixture comes up on January 3, 2021, away against Chelsea. While Everton’s next Premier League match comes up on January 1 at home against West Ham.
🔵 | Following a Premier League Board Meeting this afternoon, #EFC has been informed that tonight's fixture against @ManCity has been postponed on medical grounds due to an increase in cases of COVID-19 in the Manchester City squad.— Everton (@Everton) December 28, 2020