Liverpool’s FA Cup third-round tie against Aston Villa looks set to be scrapped due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the Midlands club, and Gary Lineker feels football in general could follow suit.
Villa reported a “significant” outbreak at the club on Thursday, and were forced to close their training ground.
That led to fears the game could be scrapped, with Southampton ’s game against Shrewsbury already postponed.
Shrewsbury confirmed a number of positive cases earlier on Thursday, and were unable to name 14 fit players.
The FA had previously stated that games will still go ahead provided teams can register 14 fit players at least, and that any team unable to do so would forefit their matches.
News of Villa and Shrewsbury’s outbreaks comes on the same day as the UK announced more than 1,000 Covid-related deaths for the second day in succession.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already declared all non-elite sport must stop, with non-league clubs bearing the brunt of that decision.
But Lineker believes it’s only a matter of time before all football is halted.
Tweeting after the Villa outbreak was confirmed, he admitted to fearing the worst.
“I fear football might succumb in the next few weeks.”
Football fans will know all-too-well that there is precedent for halting competitions, as all football was previously suspended for three months last year.
When that happened, all football was scrapped in March of 2020, when Liverpool were on the brink of the Premier League title and teams up and down the footballing ladder were fighting for promotion and against relegation.
But only the Championship and Premier League resumed, with the lower leagues scrapping their campaigns entirely and deciding the final standings on a points-per-game basis.