Sunderland youth games against Reading and Newcastle United postponed after Covid-19 outbreak

Sunderland's Under-23 and Under-18 sides have seen their next games postponed as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak at the club.

The Under-23s were due to play Reading away this lunchtime, while the Under-18s had a Tyne-Wear U18 Premier League derby away at Newcastle United scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

The Gazette understands both games have been postponed after the outbreak earlier this week.

Sunderland have had five cases of Covid-19 confirmed among the first team group with the Academy of Light training ground closed for 10 days as a result.

Sunderland's Stadium of Light.

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The first team's next three games, Shrewsbury Town away and Blackpool and Hull City at home, had already been postponed.

The EFL, as is standard practice, has launched an investigation into the outbreak.

Reports in the Daily Mail claim a bus journey is among the suspected causes of the outbreak, with investigations ongoing. Sunderland had already confirmed they would carry out their own investigation before the EFL confirmed their intention too as well.

Speaking earlier this week, the club's CEO, Jim Rodwell said it was the 'responsible decision' to close the Academy of Light for the next 10 days.

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"It is with a heavy heart that I have informed the EFL that we are unable to play our next three league fixtures," he said.

"The welfare of our players, staff and opponents remains the number one priority and following detailed conversations with the relevant authorities, we have also taken the responsible decision to close the Academy of Light for a 10-day period.

"On behalf of everyone at the club, I wish all of those affected a swift and complete recovery.”