Harrogate Town to forfeit Carabao Cup first round tie due to Covid-19 issues

Harrogate Town's Carabao Cup campaign is over before a ball has even been kicked.

Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 8:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 8:04 pm
Harrogate Town beat Rochdale 3-2 on the opening day of the 2021/22 League Two season but were then hit by a Covid-19 outbreak. Picture: Matt Kirkham

First-round opponents Rochdale have received a bye into the next round after Tuesday's scheduled clash between the two had to be postponed due an outbreak of Covid-19 in the Sulphurites' camp.

The Football League (EFL) has determined that the Wetherby Road outfit would be unable to fulfil the fixture within the required time period - before August 23, the date which second round ties are scheduled to take place.

An EFL statement explained: 'Rochdale AFC will receive a bye into this season’s round two of the Carabao Cup after it was determined opponents Harrogate Town would be unable to fulfil the Round One fixture within the required time period.

'This follows a request to reschedule Harrogate’s next three fixtures after number of positive cases of Covid-19 were identified within the Club, and a number of individuals being unable to play or train due to either a positive test, or the requirement to self-isolate, in line with Government and EFL guidance.

'While Harrogate Town did seek to reschedule the Carabao Cup fixture, the available date proposed would not have provided enough time for logistical arrangements to be made, or tickets to be sold for the Round Two tie and in accordance with Carabao Cup rule 5.1, Harrogate Town will therefore forfeit the tie.'

Town, who have also had to postpone upcoming League Two fixtures against Crawley and Leyton Orient, were only promoted to the EFL last season, thus this year's competition represented only their second-ever chance to participate in the Carabao Cup.

Last term, they beat Tranmere Rovers on penalties following a 1-1 draw at Prenton Park, setting up a second round trip to Premier League West Bromwich Albion.