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Patrick Vieira: Crystal Palace manager misses Premier League trip to Tottenham after positive Covid-19 test

"We can confirm that Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira is self-isolating after returning a positive test for Covid-19, and will be absent from the touchline for today’s match against Spurs. Assistant manager Osian Roberts will deputise for Vieira for today’s match."

Patrick Vieira
Image: Patrick Vieira is self-isolating

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira will miss their Premier League trip to Tottenham after returning a positive Covid-19 test.

Palace tweeted: "We can confirm that Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira is self-isolating after returning a positive test for Covid-19, and will be absent from the touchline for today's [Sunday] match against Spurs.

"Assistant manager Osian Roberts will deputise for Vieira for today's match."

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Vieira said on Christmas Eve that he was worried by the impact of Covid-19 outbreaks on player welfare rather than the demands of the festive fixture schedule

The Boxing Day clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium goes ahead after Crystal Palace failed in their attempts to get the game called off.

Palace are understood to have been in discussions with the Premier League on Christmas Day about postponing the match after a number of positive coronavirus tests.

However, the Premier League was not satisfied with the late request.

Vieira revealed on Christmas Eve that there were a "couple of cases" within the Palace camp but the increase over the following 48 hours was not deemed enough to see the game cancelled.

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The Premier League announced last week that a game will be played if a team has 13 fit outfield players and a goalkeeper.

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Both clubs announced the game would go ahead in its scheduled 3pm slot shortly before midday on Boxing Day.

Former Arsenal captain Vieira, preparing for a return to north London, said on Friday: "We hope we are going to be OK but when you are looking at the number of cases around (the country), we start to be worried.

"We had a couple of cases in our football club in the last couple of days. We try our best to prevent and avoid a situation but it is worrying because we don't know how the next couple of days will go."

The festive calendar has been decimated by the virus, with Premier League games between Liverpool-Leeds, Wolves-Watford and Burnley-Everton already postponed while just 10 games across the Football League survived.

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".

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Antonio Conte believes that meetings between the Premier League and managers and players were a waste of time as pressure grows on the League over fixture congestion and rising coronavirus cases

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
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