EFL postpone Liverpool vs Arsenal Carabao Cup semi-final fixture after COVID-19 outbreak
The EFL has granted Liverpool's request to postpone their semi-final first leg fixture against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium after a surge in Covid-19 positive cases at the Merseyside club. The Reds were forced to close their training ground facilities on Wednesday following the outbreak.
Liverpool are in the middle of a Covid-19 outbreak as well as injury concerns as they were without nine players for their fixture against Chelsea on Sunday. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, and Joel Matip were forced to miss Sunday's high-stakes match. Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane will be unavailable for selection as they are engaged in preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations duty.
Liverpool were forced to shut down their AXA training centre after consultation with the relevant public health authorities and were unable to continue their preparations for the Carabao Cup clash after recording more positive cases among their players and staff. Assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders who has been in interim charge of the first team while Klopp is in isolation has now tested positive along with others. The Merseyside club had made a formal request to postpone the match against Arsenal and the EFL has granted the request.
“The EFL has been in regular dialogue with the cub over the past 48 hours in an attempt to understand whether the tie could proceed but significant developments over this period have resulted in the club reporting an ever-increasing number of Covid cases,” the EFL said in a statement.
"Having now fully reviewed the circumstances involved, the league has accepted Liverpool’s request after determining, albeit reluctantly, that a postponement was the only option as the club looks to mitigate against the further risk of infection amongst its squad and staff alongside ensuring public health was protected by not travelling from Liverpool to London."
Our Carabao Cup semi-final, first-leg fixture with Arsenal on Thursday has been postponed.— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 5, 2022
We would like to place on record our thanks to the EFL and Arsenal for their understanding, as well as supporters of both clubs, as we continue to navigate through this challenging period.