Premier League reject double Leicester vs Tottenham postponement request

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The Premier League have rejected appeals from both Leicester and Tottenham to have Thursday night’s clash at the King Power Stadium postponed – despite multiple positive COVID-19 cases within both squads. Spurs are set to return to action for the first time in 11 days following the 3-0 win over Dean Smith’s Norwich, which came just a day before a mass outbreak of coronavirus at the club’s Hotspur Way training ground in Enfield.

Eight first-team players and five members of staff tested positive for the virus, leaving Antonio Conte down to bare bones on the training field.

Thankfully, the UEFA Conference League tie with Rennes was finally suspended just one day out from the contest, which now looks unlikely to go ahead at all after the two clubs failed to agree on a new date.

Several of the Spurs players that tested positive have now returned to training after completing isolation, meaning Tottenham should have just enough players to scrape together a scratch side for the trip to the East Midlands.

Still, Conte has revealed Tottenham asked the Premier League to postpone the match, a request that was rebuffed by the division’s decision-makers.

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“Yeah but for me it is very difficult to speak about this topic,” the Italian said when asked if Spurs pushed for another postponement.

“For sure, the PL didn’t want to postpone the game against Leicester, maybe because we have to play [rearranged games] vs Burnley and Brighton.”

Tottenham saw last weekend’s Premier League trip to Brighton postponed following the outbreak.

Yet Spurs were not the only club to request that Thursday’s future was postponed.

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Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, who looks set to be without nine first-team players for the match, has revealed the Premier League also rebuffed their request to have the game waved off.

“We’ve looked at that. Unfortunately for us, we weren’t granted any dispensation, which was disappointing,” Rodgers said in his press conference.

“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.”

The decision has raised eyebrows amongst both managers given the Premier League were willing to postpone Brentford vs Manchester United on Tuesday.

It’s believed chiefs were reluctant to postpone Leicester vs Tottenham due to the fixtures Spurs already need to fulfil.

The Premier League are also keen to avoid the prospect of a break in play due to the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases.

In the recent round of Premier League resting, 42 players and staff returned positive tests, the highest since testing began.

The previous high of 40 was recorded this time last year before the vaccination scheme was rolled out across the UK.

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