Southampton’s FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury Town and Derby County’s tie against National League North team Chorley are in doubt after a rise in COVID-19 cases at Derby and Shrewsbury. The report has further added that the FA is working with the Professional Game Board to find a solution.
With a record number of positive cases record in the Premier League over the last few weeks, there has been a rising concern that the season could be put on hold once again. While that hasn’t happened, ESPN has reported that there is a serious doubt over FA Cup ties after a slew of positive COVID-19 cases at both Derby County and Shrewsbury Town.
The Rams have already confirmed the news and revealed that they will be facing National League North team Chorley with several youth-team players. However, according to the rules, the game will go on if a club has a minimum of 14 fit players which is something that the FA has made clear. The statement from Derby County further added that the team, for the FA Cup tie, will consist mainly of U23s and U18s.
“As the first-team coaching staff, backroom team and players are currently self-isolating, staff and players at Saturday's match will be predominantly made up from the club's Under-23 and Under-18 set-ups,” reads the statement on Derby County’s official website.
However, the bigger concern is for Southampton’s FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury Town with the EFL side confirming multiple positive tests amongst their playing staff. That has been confirmed by the FA but a statement released by them, according to ESPN, has revealed that they are working with the club to seek out a solution. It further revealed that they are also working with the Professional Game Board to figure out what should happen to the fixture.
"Shrewsbury Town FC has informed The FA that there have been a significant number of positive COVID-19 cases at the club and have been seeking advice from both medical officers and Public Health England,” the FA said, reported ESPN.
"The FA is working with the club to establish all of the facts following which a decision will be made by the Professional Game Board as to what should happen with the fixture.The FA hopes that all those testing positive for COVID-19 have a full and swift recovery and will provide further details in relation to this fixture in due course."
Shrewsbury Town also released a statement over the same and confirmed the news that "several members of the Town squad and first team staff have tested positive for COVID-19" which does indeed place the tie in doubt. However, with the schedule already created, it would mean that any postponed FA Cup tie would have to be played in the two weeks before January 23rd, which is when the FA Cup fourth round takes place.
"Shrewsbury Town Football Club can confirm several members of the Town squad and first team staff have tested positive for COVID-19. In accordance with EFL and Government guidelines, all concerned individuals will now enter into a period of self-isolation. The health and safety of all staff members at Shrewsbury Town Football Club remains paramount and the club continually takes all necessary steps to protect all where possible," reads the statement on the club's website.
"The club have informed Shropshire Public Health, EFL, and the FA of the current situation and we will continue discussions with the relevant football authorities. The club will be making no further comment at this time and ask that each individual involved has their privacy respected. Necessary updates will be provided in due course."
Club Statement: Positive Covid-19 test results. #Salop— Shrewsbury Town FC (@shrewsweb) January 6, 2021