THE FA Cup has been plunged into further chaos with Derby AND Shrewsbury at risk of being kicked out of the competition due to severe coronavirus outbreaks.
The Rams are due to play their third-round tie with National League North Chorley on Saturday, with Shrewsbury visiting Southampton in the evening kick-off.
Derby have been forced to close their Moor Farm training ground after several first-team players and staff tested positive.
And Wayne Rooney’s side could hand a bye to Chorley in the FA Cup, with Saints also given a free pass to the fourth-round.
Dates for the fourth round cannot be changed and both Derby and Shrewsbury could struggle to play their respective games before January 23.
However, The Telegraph claim the match could go ahead with the Rams fielding a team of youngsters, with all of the first-team missing the tie.
A Derby statement read: “Staff and players were tested on Monday and returned a number of positive results.
“The club is in dialogue with the EFL and FA over upcoming fixtures.”
Meanwhile, Shrewsbury were also hit by a spate of positive coronavirus tests.
A club statement read: "Shrewsbury Town Football Club can confirm several members of the Town squad and first team staff have tested positive for Covid-19.
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FA CUP TIES UNDER THREAT
The below matches could all possibly be called off after Covid outbreaks:
QPR vs Fulham
Chorley vs Derby
Exeter City vs Sheffield Wednesday
"In accordance with EFL and Government guidelines, all concerned individuals will now enter into a period of self-isolation.
"The health and safety of all staff members at Shrewsbury Town Football Club remains paramount and the Club continually takes all necessary steps to protect all where possible.
"The Club have informed Shropshire Public Health, EFL, and the FA of the current situation and we will continue discussions with the relevant football authorities.
"The Club will be making no further comment at this time and ask that each individual involved has their privacy respected. Necessary updates will be provided in due course."
Both clubs refused to reveal the names of those who had tested positive, due to medical confidentiality.
They also added that those individuals are now isolating in line with government guidelines.
This outbreak comes after fellow Championship strugglers Sheffield Wednesday closed their Middlewood Road training ground.
The Rams were beaten 1-0 by Wednesday in their most recent match on New Year's Day at Hillsborough.
Derby are currently third from bottom in the Championship.
They are due to host Rotherham in the league on Saturday 16 January.
Shrewsbury also play on January 16, set to face Lincoln in their League One clash.
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