Manchester United’s Premier League home match against Brighton and Hove Albion, scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Red Devils saw a small number of positive tests among players and staff after they returned from the 1-0 win at Norwich City last weekend.
While it was initially said to be a minor outbreak, the situation was described as one of “exceptional circumstances” when Tuesday’s trip to Brentford was called off.
As such, it was always possible that Saturday’s game with Brighton could be under threat and a United club statement on Thursday confirmed the fixture will not go ahead as planned.
The club said: “Manchester United can confirm that our Premier League fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion, scheduled for Saturday 18 December at 12:30 GMT, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course.
“The health of players and staff is our priority. Given the number of players and support staff having to isolate due to COVID-19, the club had no option other than to request the match be rearranged. The Premier League board took the decision to postpone based on guidance from medical advisors.
“We will also suspend football training operations at the Carrington training complex for a short period to help reduce risk of further transmission.
“We regret any disappointment and inconvenience caused to fans by the postponement.”
This is the second game Brighton have had postponed in the past week after also seeing their game against Tottenham last Sunday put back due to Spurs’ coronavirus outbreak.
As many as six matches involving Premier League clubs have now been postponed due to COVID-19 since December 8, with this latest example likely to increase the pressure on the Premier League regarding a potential ‘circuit-breaker’.
Brentford manager Thomas Frank urged the Premier League to call off this weekend’s fixtures in order to “break the chain” of infections.
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