Orient’s high-profile cup clash with Spurs called off after coronavirus tests

Game had been set for Tuesday night.

By Press Association Published: 22 September 2020 - 5.14pm

Leyton Orient’s Carabao Cup tie with Tottenham has been called off after a number of players at the Sky Bet League Two club tested positive for coronavirus.

The third-round game was due to take place on Tuesday night, but will now not go ahead, with discussions over what that means for the tie going forward still ongoing.

Spurs should be awarded a bye under rules of the competition, where Chelsea or Barnsley await in the fourth round, but Orient are keen for the tie to be rearranged.

Spurs’ fixture list would make a rearrangement challenging, so talks between the two clubs and the EFL are still ongoing.

A statement from Orient read: “Tonight’s Carabao Cup match between Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspur is not taking place this evening as scheduled.

“Discussions are ongoing between the relevant stakeholders in regards to the implications of the fixture not taking place tonight and a further update will be provided in due course.

The Breyer Group Stadium had been due to host Spurs
The Breyer Group Stadium had been due to host Spurs (Aaron Chown/PA)

“Leyton Orient, the EFL and the relevant authorities are conducting a thorough review of the club’s Covid-19 secure procedures with the view to reopening the stadium and training ground as soon as possible.”

Orient announced the positive cases on Monday lunchtime, with the PA news agency understanding that Spurs paid for the testing, which took place after the game with Mansfield on Saturday.

EFL clubs no longer have to conduct mandatory tests on their players and staff for Covid-19 on a weekly basis this season, as is still the case in the Premier League.

The League Two club should bow out of the cup, as per competition rules, but they are pushing for the game to be rearranged.

The Carabao Cup rules read: “A club which is unable to fulfil its obligation to complete a competition match in round one to (and including) round four due to either: 5.1.1 that club’s player(s) having returned a positive CAT result and self-isolating in accordance with the action plan set out in the return to play/return to training protocols resulting in the club not having a sufficient number of players to fulfil the fixture; or 5.1.2 any requirements or directions of the UK government and/or by any public authority, shall forfeit the fixture, pay the opposing club’s expenses in accordance with Rule 5.8 and the opposing team shall receive a bye into the next round of the competition.”

Spurs will welcome the cancellation as they played on Sunday at Southampton and will travel to Macedonia on Wednesday for their Europa League qualifying third round tie with Shkendija on Thursday.