A-League COVID woes hit Wellington Phoenix

·2-min read

Down to just 11 fit players, Wellington Phoenix say they'll sit out a fortnight of football, starting with Saturday's A-League Men's match against Newcastle.

The sides were expected to meet at Kogarah Oval as part of a double header with Sydney FC and Perth Glory's A-League Women's sides.

League chiefs have postponed that match, and Wellington say they can't play a further two matches due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Their FFA Cup semi-final against Melbourne Victory, and next week's ALM clash with Perth Glory also appear doomed.

"It is a disruption but it's something that was bound to happen at some stage," coach Ufuk Talay said, calling the virus "rampant".

"Guys will be isolating ... hopefully they get through this quick and we're back on our feet."

The Nix have Reno Piscopo and Matthew Bozinovski back in training after they caught the virus last month, but eight new players have now tested positive, as well as two staff members.

Under A-League rules, games can be postponed if five players test positive.

When asked whether he had hope of bringing home games to New Zealand later in the campaign, Talay appeared resigned to playing out the season in Australia.

"Not really, no," he said.

The postponement will be particularly damaging for the Jets, who will now go four weeks without football.

Newcastle's last game was a 2-1 loss to Macarthur FC on December 19, and their next match is against Central Coast on January 15.

Already this weekend, Western United v Sydney FC, Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne City v Macarthur FC have been postponed.

The Wanderers were able to reschedule their clash against City for Sunday with the Melbourne Victory-Adelaide United match also expected to go ahead.

Newcastle's A-League Women clash with Melbourne Victory has been called off.

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