Orient cancel Tottenham game at 11th hour after coronavirus outbreak

Leyton Orient

Tottenham’s Carabao Cup clash at Leyton Orient on Tuesday evening has been postponed after a number of Os players tested positibe for coronavirus.

The League Two side announced in a statement at 4pm on Tuesday afternoon that the third-round game had been called off. The match was due to kick-off at 6pm.

Spurs should be awarded a bye under rules of the competition, where Chelsea or Barnsley await in the fourth round, but Orient are keen for the tie to be rearranged.

A statement from Orient read: “Tonight’s Carabao Cup match between Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspur is not taking place this evening as scheduled.

“Discussions are ongoing between the relevant stakeholders in regards to the implications of the fixture not taking place tonight and a further update will be provided in due course.

“Leyton Orient, the EFL and the relevant authorities are conducting a thorough review of the club’s Covid-19 secure procedures with the view to reopening the stadium and training ground as soon as possible.”

Orient announced the positive cases on Monday lunchtime, with the PA news agency understanding that Spurs paid for the testing, which took place after the game with Mansfield on Saturday.

EFL clubs no longer have to conduct mandatory tests on their players and staff for Covid-19 on a weekly basis this season, as is still the case in the Premier League.

The League Two club should bow out of the cup, as per competition rules, but they are pushing for the game to be rearranged.

The Carabao Cup rules read: “A club which is unable to fulfil its obligation to complete a competition match in round one to (and including) round four due to either: 5.1.1 that club’s player(s) having returned a positive CAT result and self-isolating in accordance with the action plan set out in the return to play/return to training protocols resulting in the club not having a sufficient number of players to fulfil the fixture; or 5.1.2 any requirements or directions of the UK government and/or by any public authority, shall forfeit the fixture, pay the opposing club’s expenses in accordance with Rule 5.8 and the opposing team shall receive a bye into the next round of the competition.”

Spurs will welcome the cancellation as they played on Sunday at Southampton and will travel to Macedonia on Wednesday for their Europa League qualifying third round tie with Shkendija on Thursday.


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