Tottenham and Leyton Orient face anxious wait to see if Carabao Cup clash goes ahead with morning decision expected
TOTTENHAM and Leyton Orient don't expect to discover before tomorrow morning if their Carabao Cup clash will go ahead after the League Two club were hit by a Covid-19 outbreak.
Several first-team players tested positive for the virus today leading to their training ground and stadium being closed down while experts investigate the sudden spike.
Orient are desperate to stage the match at their Breyer Group Stadium and have suggested fielding a virtual youth team against Jose Mourinho's side because the youngsters have not been in contact with their senior squad.
They risk missing out on £100,000 vital to their financial future if the game due to be televised on Sky Sports is cancelled.
But the ultimate decision rests with Public Health England who will rule whether it is safe enough to play the game amid a growth in coronavirus cases across the UK.
Health specialists have to determine if the outbreak is serious enough to order Orient's ground and training ground to be deep cleaned and order all staff into quarantine.
And they must also weigh up the risk of Orient players and staff unwittingly spreading the virus on to the Tottenham players if the game is played.
The EFL have been working with the clubs in an effort to find a resolution, with Spurs showing their support for their London neighbours.
But it is understood there are fears privately within Spurs about exposing themselves to risk of infection and putting their future matches in the Europa League and Premier League at risk.
With zero space left in an already congested fixture programme there are no possible dates for the match to be rescheduled.
So if PHE rule the game cannot be played, Orient will have to forfeit the tie and Spurs will be awarded a walkover to take their place in round four.
The shock development vindicated Tottenham's decision to stump up the £5,000 needed to pay for the Orient squad to undergo Covid-19 tests at the weekend.
EFL regulations have been relaxed this season which mean clubs only had to test on their return to pre-season training and again half way through the campaign.
That is different from the Premier League where clubs are routinely made to undergo twice-weekly tests.
Should the game be called off it would be the first match to fall victim to Covid-19 since the game returned from lockdown.
The increase nationally of the virus is a major concern for the sport, which is still muddling through without crowds and now looks like being denied the chance to let fans in for a while longer.
And the news came on the same day the Premier League revealed the latest round of testing reported three positive results – one of them being Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan.
Meanwhile Plymouth and Mansfield have both ordered their squads and staff to undergo tests after playing Leyton Orient over the past week.
Source: Read Full Article