(Reuters) – The Premier League will pay for mandatory novel coronavirus tests for players of English Football League (EFL) clubs that are involved in matches against top-flight teams in cup competitions this season, the Times reported.
The decision comes amid growing concern about safety after many clubs in the lower tiers of English soccer said they would not be able to cover the costs of tests.
Tottenham Hotspur paid for the COVID-19 testing of Leyton Orient’s players and staff ahead of their League Cup third-round tie, which produced a significant number of positives. The game was called off and Spurs were later handed a bye.
Orient owner Nigel Travis had said his team needed the financial boost that accompanied a fixture against one of the Premier League’s top teams and that the cancellation of the game would be an incentive for teams not to conduct tests.
During the meeting of Premier League shareholders, it was also agreed that should the season be halted due to the pandemic, standings would be decided on a points-per-game basis, the Times reported.
Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel