What began with Tottenham’s suspension for the Conference League ends with Brentford-Manchester United postponed. In between was Leicester and a massive contagion by various Premier League staff. Covid 19 does not rest: the Omicron variant lurks in England and the best tournament in the world is increasingly in danger. Today the meeting for week 17 between Manchester United and Brentford had to be played, but a massive contagion between players and staff of those led by Ralf Ragnick forced the meeting to be postponed. This week there were more than 40 cases across the Premier League. Record number since the competition returned.
The alarms were already on since last Tuesday: Tottenham had to play against Rennes and they had to suspend the match for exceeding the limit of 13 players infected with Coronavirus. They were also unable to play Brighton on Saturday and are expected to return to the tournament this Thursday against Leicester.
The week before, there were a total of 12 cases involving Aston Villa and Norwich City players and staff. Two teams that played their games and will do so again this week. The Villans had to suspend post-game recovery training against Liverpool for having detected positives.
Brighton – a team that had a fortuitous suspension due to the Tottenham cases – was not saved either: the coach confirmed that he has between three and four players infected or with symptoms, but his match against Wolverhampton is not in danger. Pep Guardiola also confessed to having infected teammates and players. He recommended that they get vaccinated. Well, the figures between players are alarming. 32% have not been given the second dose booster. The Manchester City manager said:
“The doctors suggest have to do it. I think the players for age and the moment have to do it”.
The tournament runs serious risks – like the other leagues, including the Bundesliga – and decided to put the tournament back on a level of emergency measures. The tests to players and staff will be done on a daily basis. They make a decision based on testing: the better we understand the numbers, the better we will know what to do. Today has not been good and the number is scary, but it is a small step to avoid what worries English football most: the suspension of the Premier League.