EPL records six new COVID-19 cases

English Premier League

After teams returned to training on Tuesday ahead of the Premier League's proposed return next month, six new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, and a number of players are now refusing to train. 

The Premier League's proposed June restart was dealt a major blow this week after the league's first round of mass testing yielded six positive COVID-19 results across three clubs. 

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"The Premier League can today confirm that on Sunday, May 17 and Monday, May 18, 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19," an official statement from the EPL read.

"Of these, six have tested positive from three clubs. Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.

"The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public in this way after each round of testing."

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Burnley have confirmed that assistant manager Ian Woan is among those who have tested positive, while The Athletic reported that three more cases, including one unnamed player, hail from Watford. 

A number of the Hornets' players have since reportedly refused to return to training out of fear for their safety, following the lead of captain Troy Deeney, who earlier in the week revealed that he would not put himself at risk by returning. 

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The Premier League had previously proposed that football resumes on 12 June, but an official date is yet to be confirmed by the league and government.