Leyton Orient could become first club to be FINED for breaching Covid-19 protocols following allegations that they failed to test and isolate sick players ahead of their now-abandoned Carabao Cup tie against Tottenham
- Leyton Orient could be the first club to be fined for breaching Covid protocols
- EFL opened an investigation into why their cup tie against Spurs was postponed
- Sportsmail has learned that Orient may be hit with two misconduct charges
- There were allegations that infected players attended club’s game vs Mansfield
- It was then discovered that 17 players tested positive for Covid earlier this week
Leyton Orient could be the first club to be fined for breaching Covid-19 protocols after the EFL opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the postponement of the midweek Carabao Cup tie against Tottenham.
Sportsmail has learned that the League Two club may be hit with two misconduct charges following allegations that they breached rules by not testing and isolating sick players, which resulted in the failure to fulfil a fixture.
The non-fulfilment charge is likely to be the first to be issued after Tottenham were given a bye to the fourth round on Friday at Orient’s expense, with the EFL continuing to examine the club’s conduct in the build-up to the postponed game.
Leyton Orient could become the first club to be fined for breaching Covid-19 protocols
There were allegations that several Orient players suffering from illness attended last Saturday’s home game against Mansfield, prior to 17 members of the squad then testing positive for Covid-19.
The widespread presence of the virus in the squad only came to light after Tottenham offered to pay for their opponents to be tested, which has not been deemed mandatory this season by the EFL.
The League will open a second disciplinary case against Orient if they judge that the club have a case to answer.
Orient could be facing two misconduct charges following allegations that they breached rules by not testing and isolating sick players, which resulted in the failure to fulfil a fixture
There are no fixed punishments for breaches of the Covid protocols introduced last season and if Orient are charged, their fate will be determined by an independent panel.
Jose Mourinho’s team will host Chelsea on Tuesday in the fourth round after their bye was confirmed on Friday.
Meanwhile, Cheltenham’s League Two match at home to Grimsby on Saturday is the latest to be postponed due to coronavirus.
Grimsby told the EFL they were unable to fulfil the fixture safely as a player had tested positive.
Tottenham were given a bye to the Carabao Cup fourth round on Friday at Orient’s expense
Just as Leyton Orient’s trip to Walsall had been postponed, Grimsby players and staff are required to self-isolate in line with Government guidance.
Rochdale chief executive David Bottomley is among those calling for a change so that clubs are in line with the Premier League, with testing taking place once a week.
‘Weekly testing has to happen,’ said Bottomley. ‘It’s a very expensive procedure because you’re looking at adding another £15,000 a month to a normal everyday operation. But I think for the continuation of football, behind closed doors even, players and associated staff have to be tested, no question.’
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