Liverpool Football Club has lodged a formal request to have the first leg of their semi-final against Arsenal postponed. It has been reported that the Reds have had an explosion of COVID cases at the club, amongst both players and staff.
The outbreak caused first-team preparations to be halted, with training canceled completely on Tuesday for the first team.
The Reds already had nine players missing for the clash against Chelsea with first-team stars Alisson Becker, Joel Matip, and Roberto Firmino amongst those who missed because of returning a positive COVID test. It was expected all three players would miss the first leg of the League Cup semi-final, too.
The departure of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Naby Keita for the AFCON is sure to have only exacerbated the situation at Anfield. There are rumors flying around that Liverpool might not even have an available goalkeeper for this match.
Caoimhin Kelleher tested positive while both goalkeeping coaches have had covid too.
Liverpool released this statement confirming the news:
“The club halted preparations at the AXA Training Center, meaning Tuesday’s first-team training session was canceled. Among the considerations which led to today’s application to the EFL is the need for traveling supporters to be given as much notice as possible of any potential postponement.
With no prospect of the current situation improving ahead of Thursday’s fixture and the potential for it to worsen, the club considers it both prudent and reasonable to ask for the fixture to be rescheduled.”
The club will now wait on a decision from the competition’s governing body, the EFL, on whether their appeal for a postponement will be successful or not. The EFL confirmed they were reviewing the request with this statement:
“The League has this evening received a request from Liverpool FC to postpone Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg versus Arsenal FC which will now be considered in accordance with the competition rules as set out at the start of the season alongside information submitted by the Club.
We will look to confirm the League’s position as soon as possible once the circumstances have been fully reviewed.”
This latest request follows a spate of fixtures being postponed across England as COVID-19 threatens to derail another season of football in the UK.
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