Leicester City’s clash against Tottenham has been postponed after the Premier League performed a U-turn in the last 24 hours.
Brendan Rodgers, the Foxes manager, revealed on Wednesday that the club had requested for the game to be postponed as the club were missing nine players through Covid-19 and illness.
Spurs’ game against Brighton last weekend had to be shelved because of an outbreak in the camp and Antonio Conte’s side were similarly keen for the fixture against the Foxes to be moved.
And, after initially declining the request, the Premier League have now decided to do so on the day of the game.
Spurs’ Europa Conference League game against Rennes was postponed last Thursday, while their away trip to Burnley earlier this month was called off because of a snowstorm in the north-west.
It means Tottenham have played three fewer games than many of their rivals and it will be a logistical challenge to fit the lost matches in throughout the rest of the calendar, which is being heavily compromised by the Omicron variant.
Speaking earlier this week, Conte said it’s ‘very difficult’ to understand why the Premier League hadn’t already decided to postpone the game.
‘For me it’s very difficult to speak about this topic. For sure, the Premier League didn’t want to postponed the game against Leicester, maybe because we have to play against Burnley and Brighton. We postponed two games before. I can understand, we can understand,’ said Conte.
‘On the other hand, I think we deserve to play our chance against Rennes to go to the next group. We don’t find a good solution between UEFA and Premier League, why Tottenham has to pay for this? It’s not fair we have to pay for a situation that isn’t our fault?
‘I understand if we did something wrong but in this way, for the club, the players, the staff, it’s very difficult to understand what’s happening.’
Rodgers was similarly aggrieved and says the Foxes were not given the necessary ‘support’ from the Premier League.
‘We’ve still got a number of players out,’ said Rodgers.
‘We’ve got nine players out through COVID and other medical issues. In terms of COVID, we’re still where we were.”
‘Unfortunately for us, we weren’t granted any dispensation, which was disappointing. We’ve wanted to support the measures, but when we wanted support for the extreme situation we were in, it’s disappointing not to get the support.
‘We were touch and go for the Newcastle game. We’ve picked up a couple of injuries as well, that are COVID related because we can’t rotate the team. We’ll put out the best team we can.’
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