Everton v Man City PL game postponed due to COVID-19 cases

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LONDON (Reuters) - Everton's Premier League match at home to Manchester City on Monday has been called off due to new COVID-19 cases reported at City, the league said in a statement.

City returned a number of positive cases for COVID-19 after confirming four positives last week, including striker Gabriel Jesus and defender Kyle Walker.

The Premier League board agreed to rearrange the game as a precaution after City lodged a request following the latest round of testing.

"The decision has been taken with the health of players and staff the priority" the league said https://www.premierleague.com/news/1957344.

"The Premier League continues to have full confidence in its protocols and rules, and the way in which all clubs are implementing them."

City have decided to shut down their first-team training facility indefinitely, with the squad set to undergo testing before any decision is made for training to resume.

"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," City said in a statement.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson said the COVID-19 outbreak was a concern and that it is "impossible to totally shield" Premier League players no matter what precautions they take.

"The virus is spreading quite rapidly," Hodgson said after Palace's 1-1 draw with Leicester City.

"The fact is they (players) are human beings. They leave the football club and they go home, and they have children who are coming back from school, and they have to do their shopping.

"So it is very, very concerning. My hope is that we can survive it and keep banging on through as it were."

The postponement is the second this season after an outbreak at Newcastle United forced the league to call off their match at Aston Villa this month.

City, sixth in the league table, are scheduled to travel to play Chelsea on Sunday.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas and Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru, Editing by Mark Potter, Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar)