Premier League blasted for putting Boxing Day football ahead of players’ safety

Former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre has slated the Premier League for continuing with its festive run of fixtures despite the continuing rise of Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom.

In England, seven Boxing Day EFL matches have already been postponed with more expected to follow as clubs continue to test staff and players daily.

But while many Premier League fixtures were called off last weekend, so far none are yet to be postponed ahead of a hectic Christmas schedule.

From December 26 there is at least one match every day until January 3.

The Premier League have scheduled three gameweeks in the space of nine days over the festive period, which equates to clubs having to play a match every three days.

And with coronavirus cases continuing to rise as a result of the Omicron variant, former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre believes the time is right for a winter hiatus.

"Right now, I think the safest solution for everyone is to break now," Silvestre said, speaking exclusively to Daily Star Sport via

"I'm sorry to say but Boxing Day or not, it comes back to if your squad members are all ready and fit to compete.

"You don't want to put people at risk just for football.

Should the Premier League be considering a winter break? Let us know in the comments section.

"I know this will cause an issue with the calendar and everyone will have to play every three days, but if that's what it takes, then we have to do it.

"At the moment, we're trying to finish like patchwork and it’s not good.

"Everyone's doubting the organisation, the Premier League, the vaccine. It's not a nice atmosphere for anyone."

Yesterday the UK government confirmed that the Omicron coronavirus variant had risen to a total number of 41,250 cases in England – an increase of 6,777 from the previous day's data.

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With similar rises in Scotland, the Scottish Premiership has announced that from Boxing Day outdoor events will be limited to 500 spectators for a three-week period with one-metre social distancing measures in place.

But so far there are no restrictions on the number of spectators that can attend a large outdoor event in England.

Though football fans do need to show proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow test if crowd capacity exceeds 10,000.

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