Manchester United call off Preston friendly over coronavirus fears

United were due to make the short trip to Deepdale, fellow northwest club Preston's home ground, at the weekend as part of their build-up to the new Premier League season. — Reuters pic
United were due to make the short trip to Deepdale, fellow northwest club Preston's home ground, at the weekend as part of their build-up to the new Premier League season. — Reuters pic

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LONDON, July 30 ― Manchester United have cancelled their pre-season friendly at Preston tomorrow after a number of suspected Covid-19 cases within the camp of the English football giants.

United were due to make the short trip to Deepdale, fellow northwest club Preston's home ground, at the weekend as part of their build-up to the new Premier League season.

But routine lateral flow testing yesterday saw some possible positive cases returned.

Those concerned are now isolating, pending further PCR tests.

In a statement, United said: “Maintaining Covid security is a priority for us. Following routine testing of the first-team training group today, we have identified a small number of suspected positive cases. This has led to those people isolating, pending further tests.

“As a precautionary measure based on Covid protocols, we have taken the difficult decision that we will not now be able to play the friendly match against Preston North End this Saturday.”

The statement added: “We regret the disruption to Preston and disappointment caused to fans. Any Manchester United fans who have purchased tickets for the game will be automatically refunded.

“At this stage, we do not expect further disruption around our forthcoming matches, but we will continue to follow Premier League protocols in this regard.”

United are due to finish their pre-season programme with a game against top-flight rivals Everton at Old Trafford on August 7. ― AFP

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