Sheffield Wednesday’s training ground closed in COVID-19 scare – FA Cup availability to be assessed

Sheffield Wednesday have taken the decision to close down their Middlewood Road training ground after a COVID-19 scare at the club.

By Joe Crann
Monday, 4th January 2021, 3:57 pm

The Star understands that more than one person has tested positive for Coronavirus and/or is exhibiting symptoms, with the club then moving to close down operations at their facility in S6 in order to protect everyone involved.

Everybody at the club – players and non-playing staff – will take part in mandatory testing on Wednesday, and only then will the club be making any further decisions on the way forward.

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The Owls are due to face Exeter City in their first FA Cup game of the season this weekend, but the results of those tests could lead to a possible postponement of the game as we have seen in so many matches over the past couple of weeks.

It’s believed that the earliest stage at which Wednesday could return to action will be Thursday, but for now the players will be training at home – something they are used to having gone through a similar situation during the lockdown early last year when the pandemic was in it’s infancy.

At this point in time there has been no comment from the club, and it’s likely that they will want to assess the seriousness of the scare once everyone has been tested before they discuss the situation and the way forward.

Wednesday moved swiftly to close down operations once it became clear that there was a risk of infection, with the safety of their players and staff paramount at this point in time.

Sheffield Wednesday have closed their training ground. (Richard Sellers/PA Wire)

The Football Association is eager to see games played if possible, with the Telegraph reporting last week that the FA had written to clubs across the English Football Leaue telling them they should do all they can to ‘keep the competition on schedule’.

In an email, the FA’s Competitions Officer, Chris Darnell, reportedly wrote: ‘[To] mitigate the risk of causing disruption to the wider fixture schedule [FA Cup fixtures will have to be played] providing clubs have a minimum of 14 Covid-19 negative players available’.

It was also said that clubs unable to meet that requirement will need to then report to the FA, and a professional game board, which would include the EFL’s chairman, Rick Parry, will discuss the issue.

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