Soccer-Portsmouth's next two League One games postponed due to COVID-19 cases

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FILE PHOTO: Carabao Cup - Third Round - Portsmouth v Southampton

(Reuters) - Portsmouth's next two League One (third-tier) games have been postponed due to five positive COVID-19 cases, including three players, in their camp, the English Football League (EFL) said on Wednesday.

The EFL calendar could be under threat from the sharp rise in COVID-19 infections across England after games in the second-tier Championship were also affected by the pandemic.

Portsmouth said in a statement https://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk/news/2020/december/portsmouth-fc-statement-five-positive-covid-19-tests that the three players took rapid COVID-19 antigen tests last weekend after developing symptoms.

Portsmouth's postponed games include a Boxing Day home game against Swindon Town and a trip to Bristol Rovers on Dec. 29.

"The club informed the EFL that they would be unable to fulfil the fixtures following recent positive COVID-19 tests and the requirement for players and staff to self-isolate as per EFL and government guidance in order to mitigate against the risk of further infection," the EFL said in a statement https://twitter.com/EFL_Comms/status/1341715183819878404/photo/1.

The dates for the rearranged fixtures will be confirmed later, the EFL said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rotherham United's Boxing Day trip to Middlesbrough was postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak in their squad.

The news came after their home game with Derby County last weekend was called off 90 minutes before kickoff due to a positive case in the Rotherham camp.

Millwall's next two league fixtures over the Christmas period were also called off on Monday following an outbreak.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)