Covid-19 cases at Sunderland reach double figures as League One crisis deepens

Covid-19 cases at Sunderland have reached double figures, the Echo understands.

Sunday, 20th December 2020, 11:10 am

Earlier this week the club took the decision to postpone the next three League One fixtures and close the Academy of Light training ground after a total of five positive cases.

It is understood since Wednesday there has been a further five positive test results taking the total to double figures, among a mix of players and staff.

It is also understood that includes three players who were in the matchday squad against AFC Wimbledon last Tuesday night who have tested positive in the past couple of days.

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Sunderland's Stadium of Light.

Sunderland won't play over Christmas as a result and the next game is not until Accrington Stanley away on December 29.

The club won't be providing a running commentary as it battles the Covid-19 outbreak but speaking earlier this week CEO Jim Rodwell said it was the 'responsible decision' to close the Academy of Light for the next 10 days.

The entire Black Cats squad had already been told to follow strict self-isolation guidelines in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak.

Elsewhere, Ipswich Town have become the fifth League One team in a week to confirm an outbreak of COVID-19.

Manager Paul Lambert is one of a group of six players and staff at Portman Road to have tested positive for the virus.

The club had opted to test all senior players and staff on Friday after a player reported symptoms on Friday, with the test results returned on Saturday night.

Lambert's side had been due to face Peterborough Town on Saturday afternoon, a clash that was postponed after an outbreak amongst Darren Ferguson's squad.

Portsmouth had confirmed on Saturday morning that defender Jack Whatmough had been withdrawn from their 2-0 win over Hull City on Friday night due to illness, and subsequently returned a positive test.

Bristol Rovers and Sunderland both suffered outbreaks earlier this week.

All clubs who have postponed fixtures this season are facing an EFL investigation.

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