Brighton's WSL game at Bristol postponed over COVID-19 cases

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(Reuters) - Brighton & Hove Albion's Women's Super League (WSL) game at Bristol City on Sunday has been postponed because of COVID-19 cases reported at Brighton, both clubs said on Saturday.

Brighton said that a second player returned a positive test result on Friday, while five others were deemed as close contacts. All seven players are now self-isolating, the club said.

Brighton, who are ninth in the 12-team WSL standings with eight points from 10 games, were scheduled to play bottom-placed Bristol on Sunday at Twerton Park at 1400 GMT.

"The club applied for a postponement earlier today and this has been accepted by The Football Association," Brighton said in a statement https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com/news/1969087/albions-game-at-bristol-city-postponed, adding that the date for the revised fixture will be decided later.

Earlier, Birmingham City's WSL game at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday was called off because the visitors had a shortage of players due to injuries.

Birmingham had asked the FA to postpone the match under the competition's epidemic rule but the request was denied as it was an injury-related issue, the WSL said on Twitter https://twitter.com/BarclaysFAWSL/status/1347838382152552448.

"We are aware of the ramifications of this decision but contest that we are also bound by an obligation to preserve our players' health and safety, above all else," Birmingham said in a statement https://bcfc.com/news/articles/2021/match-update-tottenham-hotspur-v-blues.

"We are keen to reiterate that this is not a decision we have made without full consideration but are certain that it is the correct, one given our severe circumstances."

Birmingham, who are seventh in the standings level on nine points with eighth-placed Tottenham and have a game in hand, said they would work with Spurs and the FA to reach a satisfactory conclusion over the outcome of the match.

Everton's home game versus Manchester United on Sunday has also been postponed, with the Merseyside club unable to field a side due to a combination of COVID-19 cases and injuries.

Chelsea's League Cup quarter-final tie with Manchester City, due to take place on Jan. 13, was postponed following a number of COVID-19 cases reported at City.

City's home league game with West Ham United and Arsenal's match at Aston Villa, both scheduled for Saturday, were also postponed due to COVID-19.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram and Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris and Christian Radnedge)