Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira will miss the Premier League trip to Tottenham after returning a positive Covid-19 test.
Palace tweeted: “We can confirm that Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira is self-isolating after returning a positive test for Covid-19 and will be absent from the range for today. [Sunday] match against the Spurs.
“Assistant coach Osian Roberts will replace Vieira for today’s match.”
Boxing’s clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium goes on after Crystal Palace failed in their attempts to cancel the match.
Palace is said to have discussed with the Premier League on Christmas Day about postponing the match after a series of positive coronavirus tests.
However, the Premier League was not satisfied with the late request.
Vieira revealed on Christmas Eve that there were “a couple of cases” on the Palace pitch, but the increase over the next 48 hours was not deemed sufficient to see the game canceled.
The Premier League announced last week that a match will be played if a team has 13 fit outfield players and a goalkeeper.
Saturday 1 January 17:00
Both clubs announced that the game would run into its scheduled time slot of 3pm just before Boxing Day noon.
Former Arsenal captain Vieira, in preparation for a return to north London, said on Friday: “Hopefully everything will be fine, but when you look at the number of cases around (in the country), we start to worry.
“We have had a couple of cases on our football team in the past two days. We do our best to prevent and avoid a situation, but it is worrying because we don’t know how the next two days will go.”
The holiday calendar has been decimated by the virus, with Premier League matches between Liverpool-Leeds, Wolves-Watford and Burnley-Everton already postponed while only 10 Football League matches have survived.
The Premier League publishes match postponement guidelines
The concerns of executives and captains were heard by the Premier League in special meetings on Thursday.
Managers and players have expressed concerns about the number of games to be played in quick succession during the Christmas holiday period due to the demands it is placing on teams that have been downsized due to Covid-19.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola raised the possibility of players slipping over welfare issues, while Tottenham manager Antonio Conte called the matches “a waste of time”.
Following requests from executives for transparency as to why some matches were canceled and others not, the Premier League released a guide explaining its protocols for postponing matches.
Clubs have been told they must provide the following information when requesting a match postponement:
- Details of the players and staff who have Covid, their vaccination status and – if known – the source of their infections
- Players and staff not available due to injury and illness
- Players on the squad list who are still available, including U21 players with “adequate experience”
- Medical information to verify each player’s status not available, which will be reviewed by Premier League medical advisors
The Premier League will then consider the following factors when deciding whether to grant the request:
- Impact of Covid infections, injuries, illnesses and isolation on the team, as well as the number of U21 first team and “with the right experience” players available
- Matches will be postponed if a club does not have at least 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper available
- Status of any Covid outbreaks in the club, including the number and source of infections and proximity to the match
- The club’s ability to safely prepare its players
- Medical advice on the existence of an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of players and staff while playing the game
- Advice from the UK Health Securities Agency and other public bodies
- Other exceptional circumstances