Southampton FA Cup match off after coronavirus hits visitors

London (AFP) –


Southampton's FA Cup home tie against League One Shrewsbury Town this weekend is off after a number of positive coronavirus tests in the visiting camp, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

Saints said they had received confirmation from the Football Association after a number of players and staff at third-tier Shrewsbury tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of Saturday's scheduled third-round match.

"A meeting of the FA's Professional Game Board will take place early next week to make a decision as to what will happen with the fixture," said a statement from the side.

Southampton have had their own problems with the virus -- goalkeeper Alex McCarthy tested positive and had to miss his side's win over Liverpool this week.

Middlesbrough's preparations for Saturday's FA Cup match away at Brentford have been hit by the virus.

The visitors revealed their training ground had been "effectively closed" since Monday after a number of positive Covid-19 tests among first-team players and staff.

A further round of testing was due to be carried out on Thursday.

Manchester City have confirmed their Women's Super League game against West Ham this weekend has been postponed due to a number of positive tests.

City's men's squad have also been hit by a clutch of cases.

Forty positive Covid-19 cases were discovered over two rounds of Premier League testing in late December and early January, with three matches postponed.

Britain is struggling to cope with a surge in infections and there are fears clubs will struggle to complete their fixtures in an already shortened season.