Aston Villa have closed their training ground ahead of Friday night’s FA Cup third-round clash with Liverpool after “a large number” of players and staff tested positive for coronavirus.
The Premier League club confirmed the move and revealed it is in talks with the Football Association and the Premier League over the way forward on Thursday afternoon.
A club statement said: “Aston Villa can confirm that the club has closed its Bodymoor Heath training ground after a significant coronavirus outbreak.
“A large number of first team players and staff returned positive tests after being routinely tested on Monday and immediately went into isolation.”
The statement continued: “A second round of testing was carried out immediately and produced more positive results today.
“First team training ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup match with Liverpool was cancelled.
“Discussions are ongoing between medical representatives of the club, the Football Association and the Premier League.”
There are now reports that the game against Liverpool could be postponed as a result. If Villa can field 14 fit players, the game can still go ahead.
Indeed, it is claimed that Liverpool still expect the game to be played.
Covid-19 impacting FA Cup preparation
Earlier today, the FA Cup tie between Southampton and Shrewsbury Town, due to take place on Saturday, was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the League One club.
The FA’s Professional Game Board will meet early next week to decide what will happen with the fixture.
A statement on Southampton’s website read: “Southampton’s FA Cup third-round game at home to Shrewsbury Town will not take place as scheduled this Saturday.
“The club received notice of the decision from the Football Association this morning, after a number of Shrewsbury players and staff members tested positive for Covid-19.”
Shrewsbury advised the FA that they would be unable to fulfil the fixture after medical advice said it would be unsafe for the game to take place.