Everton manager Rafael Benitez revealed on Thursday that the club made a request to postpone Sunday’s match at Burnley but it was rejected by the Premier League. He added that the club has been ‘punished’ for trying to do the right things regarding their Covid-19 situation.
“We have six injuries and five players with COVID. I think it is not fair,” he said in a news conference.
“With the injuries and the positives we had, we were expecting that the game would be postponed. Now I have to think about if I have eleven players fit and where can I put them so I am really surprised that we are playing this game. You can close the training ground for two days and then you will be allowed not to play the game. We were trying to do the right things and then in the end maybe we will be punished for that,” he said.
“I’m really surprised we are playing this game. We have nine outfield players available plus three keepers. After (that) we have to bring five young players that it seems to have enough experience to play in the Premier League,” Benitez said.
Earlier, following the rise in cases of COVID-19 in the teams, the Premier League has decided to postpone the Liverpool vs Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Watford games scheduled for Boxing Day.
“Following postponement requests from Leeds United and Watford as a result of COVID-19, the Premier League Board met this morning and regrettably agreed to call off the two affected clubs’ Boxing Day fixtures,” the Premier League said in a statement on Thursday.
“The Board today was able to make its decisions in advance of Boxing Day to give clarity to clubs and their supporters. We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused to those fans’ festive plans,” it added.