Premier League - Arsenal v Liverpool - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - April 3, 2021 General view inside the stadium before the match Pool via REUTERS/Julian Finney
(Reuters) - The first leg of the League Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Liverpool on Thursday has been postponed due to a severe outbreak of COVID-19 infections at Liverpool, the English Football League (EFL) said on Wednesday.
Liverpool had requested the EFL on Tuesday to reschedule the game because of the rise in COVID-19 cases at the club.
The Merseyside club temporarily closed their training ground on Wednesday due to a rapidly growing number of suspected COVID-19 infections at the club.
"The first leg of the Carabao (League) Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Liverpool scheduled for Thursday 6 January 2022 has been postponed following a formal request by Liverpool due to a severe outbreak of COVID infections amongst their management and playing staff," the EFL said in a statement.
"The EFL has been in regular dialogue with the club over the past 48 hours in an attempt to understand whether the tie could proceed but significant developments over this period have resulted in the Club reporting an ever-increasing number of COVID cases."
As a result of the postponement, the order of the ties has been changed with the first of the two legs now taking place at Anfield on Jan. 13, while the rearranged game will be played as the second leg at the Emirates on Jan. 20.
Liverpool players Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip returned positive tests on Sunday, while manager Juergen Klopp tested positive at the weekend.
Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho and Curtis Jones were also forced into isolation last month following positive tests.
The United Kingdom reported 218,724 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a new record for the number of cases reported on a single day in Britain.