Little Leyton Orient’s much anticipated Brisbane Road clash with Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup third round will not take place after all.
The prospective meeting between the clubs was featured in our columns last week (see; Leyton Orient Set Up EFL Cup Tie Against Shirt Sponsor, Kane!) and carried the story of Tottenham’s England striker Harry Kane being Orient’s shirt-sponsor.
A number of Orient’s first-team squad tested positive for Covid-19 prior to the scheduled game, which was then postponed, on Tuesday evening.
The English Football League which administers the competition has decided the League Two club must forfeit the tie, in line with competition rules.
Tottenham now advance to round four having been given a bye, where they will meet Chelsea this coming Tuesday for a place in the quarter-finals. It’s been an unusual year for the Carabao Cup with top flight club managers opting to play their strongest teams rather than typically resting key players, in an attempt to get minutes in the legs after the short Covid-influenced close-season.
The O’s league game this coming weekend at Walsall has also been postponed. According to BBC Sport, the north London club returned positive tests against 17 players.
The cup-tie would have been the first meeting of the clubs since 2001.
It’s been a tough one for Orient whose head coach Ross Embleton said: “We’re devastated this has happened, but this club is used to setbacks.
“It’s really important that players, staff and supporters stick together through tough times.”
Spurs were to donate their match shirts to the foundation set up in memory of their former player Justin Edinburgh, who was manager at Orient when he died of cardiac arrest at the age of 49 in June 2019.
“Everyone at Tottenham Hotspur sends their best wishes to Leyton Orient for the health and wellbeing of their players and staff, their families and all those affected at this time,” a Tottenham club statement said.
“We remain committed to helping to raise funds in aid of the JE3 Foundation, set up in the memory of Justin Edinburgh, and shall update in due course on auctioning match-worn shirts from a different fixture.”