Manchester City will be granted a postponement for their Carabao Cup semi-final tie with Manchester United should they require one.
City are due to face their cross-town rivals on Wednesday 6 January, nine days after their Premier League clash with Everton was postponed.
The Etihad Stadium club has seen numerous players test positive for coronavirus, heightening the possibility of further postponements for upcoming matches.
Earlier this season, Leyton Orient suffered a similar coronavirus outbreak and were forced to concede their third-round Carabao Cup tie to Tottenham.
But City will not be forced to do the same, as the competition’s rules state forfeits only apply from rounds one to four.
The Carabao Cup rulebook also references the semi-final stage specifically, stating “reasonable endeavours” will be made to rearrange the postponed fixture “at the earliest reasonable opportunity”.
City forfeiting the fixture would only occur in the highly unlikely occurrence a new date for the tie could not be found.
The technicality comes as a boost to City’s hopes of clinching a record-equalling fourth consecutive Carabao Cup triumph.
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The Sky Blues said there had been a number of new positive coronavirus tests in a statement confirming Monday’s clash at Everton had been called off.
“Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture,” reads the statement.
“All positive cases involving players and staff will observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine.
“The first team training ground at City Football Academy will close for an indeterminate period, with the squad and associated bubble undergoing testing before any decision is made for training to resume.
“Everyone at the Club wishes all of our colleagues a speedy recovery ahead of their return to work, training and competition.”
Is it fair that different rules apply to the early rounds of the Carabao Cup compared to the late stages? Have your say here.
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