Manchester United was forced to cancel their preseason friendly match against Preston North End, scheduled for this Saturday, after confirming an outbreak of COVID-19 within the first team team.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team reportedly played on Saturday, but the match was canceled after United announced it had “identified a small number of positive suspected cases” after a round of testing on Thursday.
The cases detected are among players and team personnel, who tested positive in a first round of testing, but will need to perform PCR tests to confirm the result.
A statement issued by United on Thursday said: “Keeping Covid safe is a priority for us.
“After routine testing of the team’s first training group today, we have identified a small number of positive suspected cases. This has led those people to isolate themselves, awaiting further testing.
“As a precautionary measure based on covid protocols, we have made the difficult decision that we will now not be able to play the friendly match against Preston North End this Saturday.
“We regret the suspension and the disappointment to the fans. Any Manchester United fans who have purchased tickets to the match will be automatically reimbursed.”
“At this time, we do not expect any further interruptions in our next matches, but we will continue to follow Premier League protocols in this regard.”
The decision to cancel the game with Preston leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with just one test match before the start of the Premier League campaign on August 14. They will face Everton at Old Trafford on August 7.
A statement issued by Preston read: “The Preston North End match against Manchester United has been canceled after several suspected Covid cases were identified in the United team on Thursday.
“We would like to apologize to all fans for any inconvenience caused, however the safety of both clubs against Covid is paramount with the season only eight days away.”