West Ham United manager David Moyes has questioned the decision of the Premier League to postpone three matches last month because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fixtures between Newcastle and Aston Villa, Everton against Manchester City and Tottenham versus Fulham were all called off in December following outbreaks of Covid-19 among the squads of some of the teams involved.
Each game is judged on an individual basis with the Premier League making the final decision on whether a fixture should go ahead.
There are no rules directly addressing the postponement of games because of illness among players and club staff, although the 2020-21 Premier League handbook states “permission will not be granted to postpone a league match where the applicant club has 14 or more players listed on its squad list available.”
Moyes has therefore questioned whether it was right that the three games over the crowded festive period were postponed, especially as he and two of his West Ham players – Issa Diop and Josh Cullen – tested positive back in September, however none of their matches were rescheduled.
“We understand and we’re not bemoaning in any way any of the games because that’s the fixtures. They didn’t stop the games when me and two players got Covid, but they’ve chosen now that it’s time they would do that,” Moyes said at a press conference ahead of West Ham’s Premier League clash with Everton.
“I thought you had to have 14 players and the original point was to say that you would go into your academy and get players, so I don’t know if those rules have now changed.”