Could FA Cup matches be postponed this weekend due to Covid-19 outbreaks, and will unaffected teams receive a bye?

THE FA Cup third round is about to begin but there are concerns over the futures of teams in the competition if they're stuck down by Covid.

Derby announced earlier this week that they've had to close their training ground because of an outbreak, thus putting their clash with Chorley at risk.

While Aston Villa have said that a decision will be made on Friday morning – the day of the match – if their tie with Liverpool can go ahead.

Could matches be postponed because of Covid?

At present, it's unclear on what the FA will decide to do if a team cannot compete because of a Covid outbreak.

The FA are likely to deal with any cases individually, and decide the best course of action.

Team personnel will and have been tested 72 hours before their ties.

At present, Derby's clash with Chorley is at risk.

"Staff members and players were tested on Monday and have subsequently returned a number of positive results," a Derby statement read.

"The names of those individuals will not be made public for medical confidentiality reasons, but they and their close contacts must now serve a period of isolation at home in line with UK Government guidelines.

"In accordance with Derby County and EFL COVID-19 protocol, the club's Moor Farm training ground has been closed with immediate effect.

"In addition, the club is in dialogue with the EFL and Football Association in relation to upcoming fixtures."

If any teams feels they're unable to field a team, they can apply for an FA review.

It's customary, though, that a side who has 14 fit and available players, go ahead with the game.

The FA will make their decision based off of a number of factors, including whether that particular team followed guidelines correctly, and just how badly affected the squad is.

The FA have yet to make any announcements on the appropriate course of action.

Will unaffected teams receive a bye?

Earlier this season, the EFL decided that Tottenham would receive a bye into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup after positive test results in their opponents Leyton Orient's squad.

But it's still unclear on what the FA will do.

Any decision made will depend on the particular circumstances surrounding any potential outbreaks within a squad.

FA Cup games CALLED OFF

  • Southampton vs Shrewsbury (outbreak in Shrewsbury squad)

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