Sunderland's next three League One games postponed due to COVID-19

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(Reuters) - Sunderland's next three League One (third-tier) games have been postponed following an outbreak of COVID-19 at the club, the English Football League (EFL) said on Wednesday.

Sunderland said in a statement https://safc.com/news/club-news/2020/december/club-statement-covid-19-update that after one player tested positive for the virus earlier this week, selected players and staff underwent additional testing. Four returned positive results and will now self-isolate for 10 days.

"The Club has today informed the EFL that they will be unable to fulfil the fixtures following guidance from the local authorities, including Public Health England, on Wednesday that has resulted in facilities at the Club being closed," the EFL said in a statement.

Sunderland's postponed games include a trip to Shrewsbury Town on Saturday and home games against Blackpool on Dec. 22 and Hull City four days later.

The dates for the rearranged fixtures will be confirmed later, the EFL said.

Earlier this month, Premier League club Newcastle United were forced to close their training ground after several players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 and their match against Aston Villa was postponed.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)