The English Premier League draw between Manchester City and Everton, scheduled on Monday fell victim to COVID-19, as authorities postponed the match citing multiple cases in the Etihad dressing room. This is only the second time since June 2020 that an EPL game had to be pushed down the calendar, the first being Aston Villa's clash with Newcastle earlier this month.
Pep Guardiola's City reported four COVID-19 cases on Christmas Day but the 2016 champions went on to play Newcastle on Sunday. The club did issue a statement on Monday saying medical opinion was considered.
"Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture," City said in a statement.
The four members of the squad included players- Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus and two staff members.
"After the latest round of Covid-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day," City's statement added.
"With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond."
According to AFP reports, the Ethihad authorities have decided to close down the club facilities, particularly the training ground for an "indeterminate period". Any further decision will be taken after a round of testing.
City's manager Pep Guardiola, who lost his mother to the coronavirus said that the players' health is of utmost importance.
"What we want is that Gabriel and Kyle don't get worse and can be asymptomatic and pass this 8-10 days without tough symptoms," said Guardiola.
"Covid is here. It is not just here in Man City, it is all around the world attacking hard so that's why we have to be careful and what we want is the next days is for them not to have symptoms and recover."
Manchester City are due to face Chelsea away in the Premier League on Sunday.