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Southampton’s FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury called off after COVID-19 outbreak

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Southampton Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie against Shrewsbury has been called off after a significant number of Shrews players and staff tested positive for COVID-19.

The League One club do not have enough fit, non-isolating players to play the game at St Mary’s Stadium.

The Football Association’s professional game board will decide what will happen with the fixture “early next week”.

Shrewsbury have not trained this week and shut their facilities for 10 days.

A statement on Southampton’s website read, “Southampton’s FA Cup third-round game at home to Shrewsbury Town will not take place as scheduled this Saturday.

“The club received notice of the decision from the Football Association this morning, after a number of Shrewsbury players and staff members tested positive for Covid-19.”

Shrewsbury advised the FA that they would be unable to fulfil the fixture after medical advice said it would be unsafe for the game to take place.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s Director of Public Health, said in a statement on the club’s official website, “We have been made aware of positive cases of Covid-19 at Shrewsbury Town Football Club.

“We are working closely with the club to help limit any further potential spread. All positive cases, as well as close contacts, are self-isolating for at least 10 days in line with national guidance.

“The club has acted responsibly and taken all the necessary precautions to limit the spread of the virus, which in this case has required closing the training ground and isolating all close contacts.

“The club are also following all the Government’s Elite Sport protocols, which include regularly testing players and staff.”

“In accordance with EFL and Government guidelines, all concerned individuals have now entered into a period of self-isolation.

“The health and safety of all staff members at Shrewsbury Town Football Club remains paramount and the club continually takes all necessary steps to protect all where possible.”

Wayne Rooney and Derby’s first-team squad will also miss their FA Cup tie at Chorley on Saturday following a COVID-19 outbreak which closed their training ground on Monday.

The Rams team for the game at Victory Park will be made up of under-23 and under-18 players.

Shrewsbury’s League One derby against Crewe on New Year’s Day was also called off because of the outbreak, while BBC Shropshire reports their next league game against Lincoln on 16 January is also thought to be in doubt.

Read more on our Sport News Page

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