More restrictions could be introduced that will affect Welsh sport. Pic: Getty Images.

Cardiff City And Swansea City Set For Welsh Government Talks Over New Match Day Restrictions

By Gareth James

Cardiff City and Swansea City could both be hit by new rules that may impact Welsh sport across the festive fixture lists.

Both clubs have already seen their weekend Championship matches postponed because of Covid outbreaks and now they are waiting on an announcement from the Welsh Government over possible new restrictions.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has revealed his officials are set for talks with the clubs as well as representatives from others sports including rugby and horse racing.

Cardiff are due to be at home to Coventry City on Boxing Day, while the Swans are scheduled to be at Millwall.

There are also two rugby derbies pencilled in for the same day, with the Ospreys playing the Dragons and Cardiff hosting the Scarlets.

The biggest horse racing meeting of the year in Wales – the Welsh Grand National – is due to take place the following day at Chepstow.

“We’ll make some announcements about that on Monday,” said Drakeford, who has already announced nightclubs will close in Wales after 26 December in response to the rising number of cases of the Omicron variant and that social distancing will also be reintroduced in shops and workplaces.

“Our Cabinet decided yesterday we needed some extra information about the way that the Omicron variant operates in the outdoors.


“We’ll talk to the organisers of those big rugby derbies, the Welsh Grand National, football matches that are planned and then we’ll come to some decisions on Monday as to how they can best go ahead.”

As well as the Championship football, Newport County are set to host Forest Green in League Two and Wrexham entertain Solihull North in the National League.

There are also due to be six games in the Cymru Premier.

The Bluebirds’ match against Derby County and Swansea’s trip to Queens Park Rangers, originally set to be played on Saturday, have both been postponed due to outbreaks of Covid-19.

The Ospreys’ trip to Racing 92 is the latest Heineken Champions Cup match to be cancelled after the Welsh region suffered a Covid-19 outbreak in their squad.

The news came on Friday morning, the day before Racing were due to host Ospreys at La Defense Arena and follows the Leinster clash with Montpellier being called off on Thursday evening.

Under the rules of the Champions Cup, Racing have been awarded a 28-0 win and five competition points in Pool A after European Professional Club Rugby were informed by Ospreys they would be unable to fulfil the fixture.

“EPCR has been informed by Ospreys that they have a recorded a number of positive tests for Covid-19 among their playing squad and as a consequence, the club is not in a position to safely fulfil its Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 fixture against Racing 92 scheduled for Saturday (18 December),” a statement from the competition organisers said.


“The Pool A fixture at Paris La Defense Arena is therefore cancelled with Racing 92 awarded the match on a 28-0, five match points basis, in accordance with the Tournament Rules.


“EPCR would like to emphasise that awarding the match to Racing 92 is a tournament management measure with the objective of ensuring that all fixtures in the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup are accounted for, and not a sanction.”

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe fears the integrity of the Premier League is on a “knife edge” because of the number of Covid-related postponements.

Five of the scheduled 10 top-flight matches this weekend have been called off already, but the league has so far resisted calls from the likes of Brentford boss Thomas Frank to suspend all action over the next few days to “break the chain” of infections.

Howe, whose Newcastle side lost to Liverpool on Thursday night and are currently second-bottom of the table, are still due to host champions Manchester City on Sunday.

He said on Friday morning: “I don’t think we want half the games played and half not played.

“The league really loses something if it becomes disjointed in terms of games played. When you start losing players to Covid then the worry is the competition becomes slightly unfair and I don’t think anyone wants to see that.


“A decision needs to be made to ensure integrity is maintained in the competition. I think it is on a knife edge.

“People want to see a fair league and not disparity in games and players missing.

“I’m desperate to continue the programme myself but the welfare of the players and supporters has to come first.”



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