David Moyes ‘not happy’ with current Premier League rules on Covid outbreaks as he asks for more clarity

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David Moyes ‘not happy’ with current Premier League rules on Covid outbreaks as he asks for more clarity
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David Moyes has called for more clarity from the Premier League over what would be needed for a game to be called off in order to end uncertainty at clubs.

West Ham had largely been free from cases of Covid this month but Moyes confirmed on Tuesday that at least two members of club staff had tested positive and said that some players are “involved”.

Six Premier League fixtures, including West Ham’s game against Norwich on Saturday, were postponed over the weekend due to outbreaks though Wednesday’s game against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup is set to go ahead.

Moyes though fears the uncertainty over what it takes for a fixture to be called off is more damaging than a number of cases and also fears that West Ham may be punished for playing a number of academy players this season.

“The players are involved in it as well but I’ve said in the main we’re in a really good place with it,” Moyes said of their small number of cases.

“I couldn’t say we’re badly affected by it. But we have had Covid and we’re trying our best to get rid of it.”

Moyes, who used eight academy players this season, added: “We’re probably thinking it’s nearly impossible that we will have a game called off, we’d need to have nearly a complete wipe-out here, because they’ve added all our young players onto it.

“So you’re getting punished and I’m not sure that’s correct.

“You know, some clubs have been able to shut down and get periods to get it right, yet if you have three or four or five cases which we’ve seen, some clubs have been made to play in recent weeks, with three, four or five cases.

“It’s more the uncertainty around the team than anything else. Now if you’re told to shut down there is no uncertainty. It’s clear, concise, you won’t be playing for 10 days you’ll be isolating, and we’ll bring you back when the time is ready.

“But other clubs are getting three or four or five cases around the club, you’re finding that that’s the uncertainty. And I think that’s the bit which is not clear.”

Moyes started five academy players - Jamal Baptiste, Sonny Perkins, Emmanuel Longelo, Aji Alese and Harrison Ashby - against Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League while Keenan Forson, Freddie Potts and Daniel Chesters have all featured from the bench this season.

Premier League rules state that if a club has a squad of 14 players, including a goalkeeper, then the game should go ahead, though the guidance West Ham have received indicates that all the youngsters used so far would be included in that number.

“I’m not happy with all the things I’m hearing,” said Moyes. “For example, we gave four or five young players their debut in Europe and that would now count against us if we got 10,12 people with Covid in our senior players.

“We would now have to class those players as first team players which, in truth, is not the case. That goes against us as a club trying to support some of our young players and putting them in the team.”

The board which meets to decide whether the request for a game to be called off is accepted or not assess applications on a case-by-case basis and have rejected a number as well as approving them in the past month.

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