Blackpool's trip to Barnsley CALLED OFF due to Covid-19 in the opposition camp
Blackpool’s trip to Barnsley has been postponed.
The Seasiders were due to make the journey over the Pennines to Oakwell on Saturday to take on the struggling Tykes.
But the fixture has been called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak among the Barnsley squad, which is also low on numbers due to injuries.
“We have advised the EFL that the club will be unable to fulfil Saturday’s fixture against Blackpool. Therefore, the game has been postponed,” Barnsley said in a statement.
“Alongside long-term injuries, a large number of players and backroom staff have tested positive for Covid-19.
“We apologise for the inconvenience of this postponement and details regarding the rearrangement of the fixture will be communicated to our supporters in due course.”
It’s Barnsley’s second fixture to be chalked off this week after the South Yorkshire outfit were also forced to postpone their midweek clash against Stoke City.
That announcement came just two days after Payo Asbaghi’s side were taken all the way to extra-time by League Two side Barrow in the FA Cup on Saturday, eventually edging through 5-4.
Barnsley languish in the Championship’s bottom three, having won just two league games all season.
Barnsley’s chief executive officer Khaled El-Ahmad said: “Covid-19 continues to test all individuals in all walks of life, be it logistically or financially.
“It was well documented following our FA Cup fixture that Covid-19 had infiltrated our squad. As the days progressed, it became clear that we would not be able to field a team on Wednesday evening and attention turned to quelling the outbreak and preventing further spread.
“I must note that it’s not just the playing staff that have been impacted, departments who interact on a daily basis with the players have also suffered.
“Thankfully, those individuals who returned a positive result remain in good spirits and are following NHS guidance closely.
“In light of Wednesday night’s postponement, we began asking questions regarding Saturday’s fixture.
“With the knowledge that this new variant is extremely transmissible, staff at Oakwell have respected the necessary guidance and plans to reduce potential transmission.
“I, of course share the frustration of our community, however the safety and well-being of our players and staff is of paramount importance.
“Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please continue to stay safe.”
It’s the first time a Blackpool game has been called off this season.
Neil Critchley’s side, who have been depleted by Covid and injuries themselves in recent weeks, are just one of two Championship sides to play all 26 scheduled games so far this season.
As per every postponement, the EFL will now review the circumstances surrounding the decision to call off the game.
A new date for the fixture will be confirmed in due course.
All previously purchased tickets will remain valid for the rearranged game, however Barnsley will offer refunds for those unable to attend the new date.
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