Lincolnshire health bosses said Lincoln City Football Club has been “exemplary” in how it handled COVID-19, but the club has been left struggling with numbers as two matches were cancelled.
A club statement this morning said a “number of players and staff” testing positive meant that the Good Friday fixture against MK Dons had been postponed.
A further match on Tuesday, April 6, against Charlton Athletic has also been postponed on Wednesday, while the Imps’ training centre has been closed for ten days.
Lincolnshire County Council’s director of public health Professor Derek Ward said his public team had worked with the club since the beginning of the pandemic.
“They’ve been exemplary in everything that they’ve done, they’ve followed our advice to the letter, and being very proactive in lots of ways,” he said.
“But of course, in a professional football club there’s a lot of close contact, it’s a contact sport.
“Despite putting in place mitigations as advised by the government, we’ve got an ongoing outbreak.
“We’ve been aware of it and supporting the club since the first case, and it’s now got to a stage where my advice is that anybody who tests positive needs to isolate for 10 days, as does their immediate family.
“But the close contacts of those cases means that the club is struggling, I think, in terms of the number of playing staff they’ve got.”
Professor Ward said it had been his advice to the club to close the Soper of Lincoln Elite Performance Centre and give it a deep clean, while his team had been through close contacts and provided further advice.
However, following discussion with the EFL the decision was made to postpone the Sky Bet League One tie.
Liam Scully, Chief Executive at Lincoln City, told BBC Radio Lincolnshire: “There is no doubt that members of our team are hurting right now. They’re not very well. They’re not in a great place and that concerns us greatly.
“Further positive cases in the meantime could have an impact on that timeline, but ultimately it’s my job and the medical team’s job over the next 24/48 hours to just work through that timeline.”