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Boss: "EFL And The Clubs Involved Made The Right Call"

7 October 2020

Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell has reiterated his support for Oxford United’s decision not to risk playing our game on Saturday. The Alex boss informed his counterpart Karl Robinson on arrival to the Kassam Stadium that his defender Omar Beckles had reported a positive Covid-19 test prior to kick-off.

The club wish to make it clear that Beckles did not travel to the Kassam Stadium.

Beckles, who underwent a private test due to him having a young baby at home, was sent into self-isolation as soon as his test result came through. He had not informed the club that he was being tested in the wake of his team-mate, Ryan Wintle, recording a positive test in the week following our game against Newcastle United.

Oxford United players and staff were not comfortable in the game taking place and following discussions between the two clubs and the EFL medical staff, the game was understandably called off.

Artell called the decision,’ justified’ and ‘the right one’.

The Alex boss told the club’s official website: “This is what can happen when the testing has become more relaxed at EFL clubs. I understand the EFL are trying to protect clubs from the financial burden of regular testing but incidents like the one we saw on Saturday will happen. It is no one’s fault.

“Of course, the timing of Omar’s test could have been a lot better that it was, but I and the club were unaware he had gone for the test. That is his own choice and I am not going to say he cannot do it, but then we got the situation we had at Oxford.

“I told Karl as soon as I saw him and there was no animosity or fall-out. We were prepared to play the game because we didn’t have anyone suffering any symptoms but they didn’t want to take the risk and that was perfectly acceptable. As I said, the right decision was made.

“Karl told us that a number of his players had wives or girlfriends were pregnant or they had young families and we understood that. We brought the problem to Oxford’s door so to speak and we took all the advice and all came to the correct decision.

“This virus is new and not been around before and the EFL judges everything case by case and they came to the right decision. It was a difficult situation for everyone on the day.

He added: “There was no issue with Karl and hopefully when we re-arrange the game, we can catch up again in better circumstances.”


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