By Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter
Southampton’s home match against Newcastle on Sunday has become the latest Premier League game to be called off amid the Covid-19 crisis.
The Magpies confirmed the game had been postponed due to ongoing coronavirus cases and injuries in their squad.
It follows the postponement of their scheduled game against Everton on Thursday this week.
𝗚𝗔𝗠𝗘 𝗢𝗙𝗙 ❌#NUFC's fixture against Southampton at St. Mary's on Sunday has been postponed due to ongoing Covid-19 cases and injuries amongst the Magpies’ first team squad.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) December 31, 2021
A Newcastle statement read: “In accordance with protocol, the Magpies submitted a separate request to the Premier League to postpone the trip to the south coast, and this has been approved by the Premier League board.
“Both away fixtures will now be rescheduled and new dates and times will be confirmed in due course.
“Newcastle United once again thanks the respective clubs and the Premier League for their co-operation and understanding.
“The club also extends its sincere apologies to supporters affected by both postponements and asks them to retain their tickets.”
Following a request from Newcastle, the Premier League Board has regrettably agreed to postpone the club's away fixture against Southampton, due to be played at 2pm on Sunday 2 January
Full statement: https://t.co/Vn3i1npqym#SOUNEW pic.twitter.com/Zj4M0UxQZd
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 31, 2021
The game at St Mary’s is the second Premier League match in week 21 to be postponed, following the announcement on Thursday night 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 last week.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed the club were awaiting PCR confirmation of three new Covid cases among the playing group, with further positives within the coaching staff.
The German said the situation was “not cool” but that the Reds were not close to requesting their match at Chelsea on Sunday be postponed.