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Football is on a dangerous “cliff edge” according to Shrewsbury midfielder Dave Edwards.
The ex-Welsh international has seen League One Town's FA Cup tie at Premier LeagueSouthampton postponed.
The tie was scrapped and may be forfeited by Shrewsbury after a number of players and staff tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.
Other clubs are also facing major challenges with fellow Midlands outfit Aston Villa and Derby being forced to play their kids in the third round amid outbreaks.
A meeting of the FA’s Professional Game Board will take place early next week to make a decision on Shrewsbury's fixture.
Dave Edwards fears the new strain of COVID may run riot in football
(Image: Rowan Griffiths)
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Edwards predicts the situation for all clubs is about to get a lot worse as he fears the new strain of COVID could be transmissible outside on the pitch.
The midfielder,34, said: “Coming into the winter it is a really terrible time for football at the moment.
“It is only going to get worse over the next couple of weeks.
“We really are on a bit of a cliff edge.
“We all thought football was OK in terms of not getting COVID when you are outside on the training pitch.
“But this new strain looks like it could be transmitted possibly through playing matches and that is the scary thing.”
Edwards was supposed to be in FA Cup action this weekend but is now self-isolating
Shrewsbury have not played since December 29 at home to Blackpool after last Saturday's game with Crewe was cancelled.
Edwards revealed he has tested negative but is self-isolating at home.
He added: “I am OK and have tested negative.
“Between the Blackpool game and when we were supposed to play Crewe a few of the lads came down with the virus and tested positive.
“Then when everyone had the tests on Monday the results came back on Tuesday there was a mass outbreak.”
Edwards admits it is highly unlikely Shrewsbury will be able to fulfil their glamour tie at Saints.
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“To go up against Premier League opposition would have been a real experience for the lads,” he told talkSPORT.
“We are gutted the game is looking more and more unlikely.
“But there is no way around it at the moment.
“There is no moral way that this game can go ahead because it is unfair on us as players and staff going down there and unfair on Southampton as well to put them at risk.
“We are still hoping there may be a resolution further down the road but it is looking unlikely. Everyone's health and safety matters most.”