Skip to content

Burnley vs Everton Premier League match postponed due to Covid-19 outbreak and injuries in Everton squad

Everton had an initial request to postpone the game rejected on Thursday despite boss Rafael Benitez claiming he only had nine outfield players fit; Liverpool vs Leeds and Watford vs Wolves have already been called off

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 16: The official Everton club badge before the Premier League match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on April 16, 2021 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Everton's Boxing Day match at Burnley has been postponed due to Covid-19 cases and injuries at the Merseyside club.

Everton had an initial request to postpone the game rejected on Thursday despite boss Rafael Benitez claiming he only had nine outfield players fit.

While there have not been further Covid-19 cases at Everton, there has been a number of players unable to train who were originally on the 'fit list'.

A statement from the Premier League on Friday said the board had reviewed the decision "following further injuries to their squad".

"They [the Premier League board] concluded that the club will not be able to fulfil their fixture this weekend as a result of an insufficient number of players available to play due to Covid-19 cases and injuries," the statement added.

"The board this morning was able to make its decision in advance of Boxing Day to give clarity to clubs and their fans. We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused to those supporters' festive plans."

Benitez said on Thursday he was "surprised" the game had been expected to go ahead, after two Boxing Day matches - Liverpool v Leeds and Wolves v Watford - were postponed due to Covid cases.

Also See:

His squad endured a Covid outbreak following the game against Chelsea on December 16, while a number of top players including Richarlison and Andros Townsend are injured.

Benitez said: "With the injuries and the positives that we have, we were expecting that the game would be postponed.

"Like in a lot of other games [to be postponed] to try and keep the integrity of the league, because you are losing so many players."

Premier League Boxing Day postponements

  • Liverpool vs Leeds
  • Wolves vs Watford
  • Burnley vs Everton

Premier League publishes guidance over fixture postponements

The concerns of managers and captains were heard by the Premier League at special meetings on Thursday.

Managers and players raised fears about the number of games they have to play in quick succession during the Christmas holiday period because of the demands it is putting on squads which have been reduced in size as a result of Covid-19.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola raised the possibility of players going on strike over welfare issues, while Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte labelled the meetings "a waste of time".

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Antonio Conte believes meetings between the Premier League and managers and players were a waste of time

Following calls from managers for transparency over why some matches have been called off and some have not, the Premier League has since published guidance to explain its protocols for postponing fixtures.

Clubs have been told they must provide the following information when applying for a game to be postponed:

  • Details of players and staff who have Covid, their vaccination status and - if known - the source of their infections
  • Players and staff unavailable through injury and illness
  • Players on the squad list who are still available, including 'appropriately experienced' U21 players
  • Medical information to verify status of each unavailable player, which will be reviewed by the Premier League's medical advisers

The Premier League will then consider the following factors when deciding whether to grant the request:

  • Impact of Covid infections, injuries, illness and isolation on the squad, plus the number of first-team and 'appropriately experienced' U21 players available
  • Matches will be postponed if a club does not have at least 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper available
  • Status of any Covid outbreak at the club, including the number and source infections, and the proximity to the match
  • Club's ability to safely prepare its players
  • Medical advice over whether there is an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of players and staff by playing the match
  • Advice from UK Health Securities Agency and other public bodies
  • Other exceptional circumstances
Win £250,000 with Super 6!
Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Another Saturday, another chance to win £250,000 with Super 6. Play for free, entries by 3pm.

Around Sky