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Wigan chairman wants EFL to extend season due to Covid postponements

Wigan Athletic v Lincoln City – Sky Bet League One – DW Stadium
(Image credit: Tim Markland)

Wigan chairman Talal Al Hammad has urged the English Football League to extend the season following a raft of postponed fixtures due to coronavirus outbreaks.

The Latics have played four games fewer than some of their Sky Bet League One rivals after recent meetings with Crewe, Fleetwood and Accrington were called off.

Progression to the FA Cup fourth round following Saturday’s 3-2 win over Blackburn has also added to the club’s packed schedule.

With the regular League One season scheduled to finish on April 30, Bahraini businessman Al Hammad believes an extension is required for the integrity of the competition.

“Playing a football game every three days for a hundred days is unhealthy,” he posted on Twitter.

“It is inevitable that the players will suffer from increased stress and pressure which could then lead to physical and mental injury to our valued players and team.

“For the integrity of all competitions in which we are competing, we must find some equality in our fixture programme.

“I am positive that other clubs will agree with me on that the EFL should reconsider their position and extend the league under such circumstances.

“The main reason being our players, their safety and their wellbeing.”

Wigan, who have not played a league game since beating Oxford 3-2 on December 18, are pushing for promotion from the third tier and sit fourth in the table.

Leam Richardson’s side are five points below leaders Rotherham, albeit having played three matches fewer, while second-placed Sunderland and third-placed Wycombe have each completed four fixtures more than the Latics.

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