Coronavirus outbreak at Watford led to its game at Burnley being called off less than three hours before kickoff.

"The decision was taken following guidance from medical advisers due to an ongoing Covid-19 outbreak within Watford’s squad. As a result, the club has an insufficient number of First Team players available to fulfil the match," the Premier League said in a statement.The Premier League's rules state that if a team cannot raise 14 players then a game can be postponed. (Reuters)

The Premier League has postponed Burnley's game against Watford after a Covid-19 outbreak in the visiting team as the possibility of festive fixture chaos loomed.

Wednesday's decision to call off the match at Turf Moor came just two and a half hours before the scheduled kickoff time.

"The decision was taken following guidance from medical advisers due to an ongoing Covid-19 outbreak within Watford’s squad. As a result, the club has an insufficient number of First Team players available to fulfil the match," the Premier League said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Leicester City said they had a request to postpone Thursday's game against Tottenham Hotspur rejected by the league, as English football continues to face potential disruption from the spread of coronavirus and the Omicron variant.

The Premier League's rules state that if a team cannot raise 14 players then a game can be postponed although other factors, such as impact on preparation and whether or not there has been an 'uncontrollable outbreak' are also taken into account.

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"In considering any application to postpone, the Board considers a range of sporting and medical factors. Each decision is taken on a case-by-case basis with everyone’s health of utmost importance," the league added.

Manchester United's scheduled game at Brentford on Tuesday was postponed after United closed their training ground due to Covid-19 cases.

Tottenham Hotspur's Europa Conference League game against French club Rennes on December 10 was also called off after an outbreak in the Spurs camp.

In England's second tier Championship, Saturday's matches between Reading and Luton Town and Millwall and Preston North End have been postponed because of cases of the coronavirus.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said his team had nine players out due to Covid-19 and "other medical issues", adding that the integrity of the competition is at stake in what is a "testing time of the year" with teams often playing at least twice a week.

"Unfortunately for us, we weren't granted any dispensation, which was disappointing," Rodgers told reporters on Wednesday.

"We've wanted to support the measures, but when we wanted support for the extreme situation we were in, it's disappointing not to get the support. We were touch and go for the Newcastle (United) game.

The league said on Monday that between December 6-12, 3,805 players and club staff were tested with 42 new positive cases discovered – the highest weekly figure since data began being reported in May 2020.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies