Friday’s Premier League fixture between Aston Villa and Newcastle has been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the Magpies’ squad.
Newcastle asked the Premier League to cancel the game on public health grounds with the squad hit by more than five positive tests, and uncertain how many more could develop.
They closed the training ground on Monday after a number of positive cases emerged over the weekend.
Newcastle officials held talks with Villa and Premier League counterparts on Tuesday and the situation has now led to Newcastle’s game at Villa Park, scheduled for Friday night, being called off.
Following a Premier League Board meeting today, Newcastle United’s fixture at Aston Villa, due to be played at 20:00 GMT Friday 4 December, has been postponed
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 1, 2020
A Toon statement confirmed that it would be the first fixture this season – and indeed since Project Restart – to be shelved because of covid-19.
The statement read: “Newcastle United’s fixture at Aston Villa on Friday has been postponed following a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at the Magpies’ Training Centre.
Aston Villa said: “Aston Villa can confirm that the club fully supports the Premier League’s decision to postpone our fixture with Newcastle United on Friday following a significant Covid outbreak at the Tyneside club and the shutdown of their training ground by Public Health England.
“We would like to thank both the Premier League Board and Newcastle United for their comprehensive and transparent communication during the process which resulted in this decision being reached.
“Everybody at Aston Villa wishes a speedy recovery to all those at Newcastle United affected by the virus.”
A new date will be announced in due course.