The FA have warned clubs that if they are unable to fulfil their FA Cup obligations because of Covid then they will be kicked out of the competition while the Premier League will NOT be taking a break.

Gabriel Martinelli with the FA Cup (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)
Gabriel Martinelli with the FA Cup (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)

The FA have warned clubs that they will not be able to postpone games as we’ve seen recently in the Premier League with Fulham pushing back two matches due to rampant infections within their bubble.

Arsenal play Newcastle in the third round this weekend but there are major concerns about lower league teams who could find a host of asymptomatic players ruled out.

The FA have advised that all teams must have at least 14 players available, although that assumes all keepers will make it through unscathed.

Due to the congested nature of this season’s competition, there will be no replays and the fourth round has been brought forward by a week in a bid not to impact Premier league standings. There is simply no time to reschedule any games.

So, if you can’t play, your opponents will be given a bye into the next round.

Mikel Arteta and Arsenal players celebrate in Wembley dressing room
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal players celebrate in Wembley dressing room

The Premier League, meanwhile, will not be looking to take any sort of break due to growing infection rates as it will be too costly.

With the the Euros to take place this summer, the Mail on Sunday report, “The Government is backing the Premier League’s decision to resist a firebreak pause, despite rising coronavirus cases.

“Government officials are confident elite sport bubbles are safe, despite outbreaks at Fulham and Manchester City.

“There is also no chance of pausing play as in 2019-20, as that was only possible because UEFA postponed Euro 2020. That will not happen again, with national associations around Europe dependent on the TV contracts for Euro 2021 being fulfilled.

“The MoS understands deals will expire and have to be renegotiated if the tournament is not played, so the Premier League do not have room to pause. Curtailment would be the only option, costing clubs billions.”

Money. Because that’s the important thing here.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.