Southampton's Premier League clash with Newcastle United has been postponed as the Magpies continued to suffer from a COVID outbreak in their squad.
This is the second match of the New Year weekend to be called off, after Leicester City's match against Norwich was called off on Thursday.
Newcastle continue to have ongoing COVID-19 cases and injuries that led to their match against Everton FC being called off earlier this week.
In a statement issued by the Premier League, they explained their ability to postpone the match with sufficient notice, to the benefit of fans and the clubs themselves.
"The Board was able to make its decision in advance of the fixture to give clarity to the affected clubs and their fans," the statement read. "We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused to supporters’ festive plans.
"The League is aware that the decisions recently to postpone matches will disappoint supporters, and understands their frustrations at a special time of year when fans look forward to attending and watching football games.
"The League aims to provide as much clarity as possible, but unfortunately postponements sometimes have to be made at short notice, as safety is our priority.
"Where possible, the League will endeavour to keep supporters updated if games become at risk on a matchday."
While the Premier League hopes to provide sufficient notice ahead of postponed matches, they acknowledged that in certain situations, same-day postponements might be a necessity.
"The Board assesses applications to postpone matches on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and adapted COVID-19 postponement guidance, implemented in light of the new Omicron variant," the statement continued.
"The Board will assess a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak at the club; and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match.
"The Board must also consider the wider risks to the opposition and other people the club representatives may come into contact with."
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