London: Southampton’s home match against Newcastle on Sunday is the latest Premier League fixture to be called off after a coronavirus outbreak in the visitors’ camp.
“Sunday’s Premier League clash between Southampton and Newcastle United at St. Mary’s Stadium has been postponed due to ongoing Covid-19 cases and injuries amongst the Magpies’ first-team squad,” said a Newcastle statement.
The Premier League said it had accepted the request to postpone the match because Newcastle did not have the required number of players available (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper).
It is the second successive Newcastle fixture to be postponed following the cancellation of Thursday’s scheduled game at Everton.
The Premier League assesses applications to postpone matches on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and adapted guidance, implemented in light of the new Omicron variant of Covid.
Newcastle are second from bottom of the Premier League with just a single win this season.
The game at St Mary’s is the second in Premier League matchweek 21 to be postponed, following the announcement on Thursday that the New Year’s Day clash between Leicester and Norwich was off.
Top-flight clubs have stepped up their Covid-19 protocols, including daily testing for players and club staff.
Despite that, a record 103 cases were confirmed for the period from December 20 to 26.