Kettering Town forced to forfeit FA Cup place due to Covid outbreak

Kettering Town's FA Cup run has been ended due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the squadKettering Town's FA Cup run has been ended due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the squad
Kettering Town's FA Cup run has been ended due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the squad
A number of players and backroom staff have tested positive for the virus

Kettering Town have withdrawn from this season's Emirates FA Cup due to an outbreak of Covid-19 within their squad.

The Poppies had been set to battle it out with Northamptonshire rivals Brackley Town at St James Park tomorrow (Tuesday) night in the third qualifying round.

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However, after their Vanarama National League North match with Southport was postponed at the weekend due to the outbreak, the Poppies have now decided to forfeit their spot in the famous knockout competition.

It means Brackley will receive a bye into the fourth qualifying round.

It had already been confirmed that player Brett Solkhon had tested positive for the virus and the Northamptonshire Telegraph understands manager Paul Cox has also tested positive.

Kettering have also confirmed their scheduled league game at AFC Fylde this weekend has been called off and the situation will be reviewed ahead of the home clash with Guiseley on October 24.

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A statement released by Kettering this evening said: "Following discussions between the club, our CMO and the league’s LMO, and upon their advice, the board have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from this season’s Emirates FA Cup competition.

This decision is due to Covid infections within the camp and the requirement to isolate our first team squad and management personnel.

"This is not a decision that the board have taken lightly and we can assure everyone that we have investigated every option available to us (youth players, loan players etc.) but sadly a satisfactory solution could not be found.

"Our planned trip to Brackley Town tomorrow evening is therefore off and our cup exploits for the 2020-2021 competition have come to a premature and frustrating end. The club wish all those infected a speedy recovery and look forward to being in a position to fulfil future commitments.

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"This news follows the postponement of Saturday’s trip to Southport and means that it will also prevent us from visiting AFC Flyde on Saturday (October 17).

"The board are hopeful that the situation will be resolved in time for our subsequent fixture against Guiseley on Saturday, October 24 – however a further statement on this fixture will be made nearer the time.

"This is the hardest decision this board has had to make but as well as protecting our players along with those at Brackley Town we also have an obligation to protect the integrity of the game and taking everything into account this is sadly the only option available.

"All fixture re-arrangements will be announced as soon as possible."

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