EFL clubs to undergo coronavirus testing ahead of FA Cup amid spike in cases

EFL clubs will undergo a full round of coronavirus tests next week to help save the FA Cup.

Championship, League One and Two teams will be involved in the pre-planned tests which comes amid growing fears about outbreaks across the three divisions.

It has been designed to try and reassure Premier League cubs ahead of the third round weekend but also because of the sudden spike in cases throughout football.

Premier League cash and also the Professional Footballers’ Association will help pay for the widespread tests across the 72 clubs.

More than 40 EFL games have been postponed in the last month because of the coronavirus outbreak and there were major fears about the FA Cup third round going ahead as planned.

But this has been designed to ensure that players get the all clear while the EFL has also been hit by a backlash from clubs, managers and players worried about the sudden rise in cases.

The Premier League will start testing twice a week from early next month which will cost around £10,000-a-week per club but the league foots the bill.

But the EFL has not conducted such regular tests since returning to action after the lockdown.

EFL players were tested after returning to pre-season training, before the start of the season and after international breaks.

Premier League clubs did offer to pay for EFL clubs to be tested ahead of Carabao Cup ties but not all clubs took up the offer amid fears they did not want to have mass positive tests and have to shut down.

But now all EFL clubs will be expected to undergo the tests next week which should help ensure the FA Cup but also help keep the EFL going after the recent upturn in positives.

The EFL remain convinced their safety protocols and procedures are strong enough to keep the Championship and Leagues One and Two going and allow them to finish the season.

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