Chelsea received a request to postpone their match against Wolverhampton on Sunday and was rejected by the Premier League.
The request was made on Saturday evening and rejected on Sunday morning before the kick-off for game 2 in the afternoon in Molino.
Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the 1-1 home league draw against Everton on Thursday.
Understandably, there was another positive case overnight.
A Chelsea spokesperson said: “We are deeply disappointed that our request was rejected as we felt we had a strong case to postpone today’s match on the basis of the players’ health and safety.”
Chelsea appointed six substitutes, including two goalkeepers, instead of the usual seven, while Jorginho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kai Havertz and Andreas Christensen were absent from the line-up for the tour against Wolverhampton.
Six of this weekend’s Premier League matches have been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak within clubs.
The Premier League said it was “evaluating requests on a case-by-case basis” and decisions “based on existing rules and Covid-19 postponement directives issued to all clubs”.
Arsenal’s 4-1 win over injury-affected Leeds was the only match played on Saturday after Aston Villa’s home match against Burnley was canceled just two hours before kick-off due to an increase in positive cases within the home team.
In total, the outbreak in various clubs has led to the postponement of 10 Premier League matches so far.
Other Sunday matches between Newcastle, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool – both live Sky Sports Stay prepared to move forward as planned.
On Thursday, Brentford coach Thomas Frank called for this weekend’s round of matches to be called off in a bid to enable clubs to deal with the outbreak.
However, the Premier League has so far resisted calls to stop the competition, with talks between clubs and team managers due to take place from Monday.
Ahead of the Wolverhampton game, Chelsea are four points behind league leaders Manchester City after a run of just two wins in the last five matches in the tournament.
Chelsea are set to visit Brentford in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday, ahead of a scheduled trip to face Aston Villa on Boxing Day, live. Sky Sports.
What are the Premier League rules about postponements?
The 2021/22 Premier League handbook includes the Covid protocols, and states that the Premier League’s board will “only allow a re-arrangement or postponement of a league match in exceptional circumstances”.
The board is making calls on a case-by-case basis and by directing says the Premier League will not be given permission for a postponement if the club has 14 or more players from the squad list available.
In a statement, the Premier League added that it would “evaluate a number of factors, including the club’s ability to put together a squad, the situation, severity and potential impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the club; and the team’s ability to prepare for and play the match safely.”
“The board must also consider the broader risks of the opposition and other people with whom the club may deal.”