By Jonathan Veal, PA
Crystal Palace failed in their attempt to get a St Stephen's Day visit to Tottenham called off due to coronavirus.
Palace were in discussions with the Premier League on Christmas Day about postponing their trip across London following a number of new positive cases, which include boss Patrick Vieira, but the PA news agency understands the league was dissatisfied with the late application.
Former Arsenal midfielder Vieira will not be present at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as he begins a period of self-isolation following his positive result, with assistant manager Osian Roberts taking charge.
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.#CPFC pic.twitter.com/nBNmkLlxMG
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) December 26, 2021
Vieira revealed on Christmas Eve that there were a “couple of cases” in the camp, but the increase over the following 48 hours was not deemed enough to see the game cancelled.
The Premier League announced last week that a game will be played if a team has 13 fit outfield players and a goalkeeper.
Both clubs announced the game would go ahead in its scheduled 3pm slot shortly before midday on St Stephen's Day.
Today's home game against Crystal Palace will go ahead as scheduled.
We look forward to seeing you all this afternoon. 💙 pic.twitter.com/lhz9EDp2am
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 26, 2021
Palace later 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 match against Spurs.
“Assistant manager Osian Roberts will deputise for Vieira for today’s match.”
The festive calendar has been decimated by the virus, with Premier League games between Liverpool-Leeds, Wolves-Watford and Burnley-Everton already postponed on St Stephen's Day, with Leeds’ match against Aston Villa on December 28th also not going ahead.
⛔Our home game with Newport County on Wednesday 29th December has been postponed.
Newport County informed the EFL that it would be unable to fulfil the fixture due to a number of positive COVID-19 cases in their squad.https://t.co/UnwmsOwC52#LOFC #OnlyOneOrient
— Leyton Orient (@leytonorientfc) December 26, 2021
Just nine St Stephen's Day games across the Football League have survived – Hull’s Sky Bet Championship match against Blackburn became the latest fixture to be postponed.
The Tigers announced just over two hours before kick-off that the match – due to be televised by Sky Sports – would not go ahead due to positive cases in their squad.
Hull wrote on Twitter: “Today’s match has been postponed due to positive Covid-19 cases in our squad, so we are unable to field the required number of players for the game.
“We apologise to both sets of fans for the inconvenience caused by the late notice.”
Another Championship match on December 30th was also called off, with an outbreak in Preston’s squad forcing the postponement of their trip to West Brom.
Thursday's fixture with @pnefc has been postponed following a COVID-19 outbreak at Deepdale.
Preston contacted the EFL on Boxing Day to confirm they will be unable to fulfil their trip to The Hawthorns.
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) December 26, 2021
Leyton Orient announced Wednesday’s home clash against Newport has been postponed.
Orient said Newport had informed the EFL of a Covid-19 outbreak at the club.
A statement on Orient’s official website read: “Newport County informed the EFL that it would be unable to fulfil the fixture at the Breyer Group Stadium due to a number of positive Covid-19 cases in their squad.
“In light of the increased transmission rate of the Omicron variant, the EFL will now review the circumstances surrounding the postponement.”