Tottenham Hotspur have been awarded a bye to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup as a result of Leyton Orient forfeiting the third round tie that should have been played this week.
As many as 17 Leyton Orient players tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the game, which subsequently prevented it from going ahead and cost the League Two club a lucrative tie.
A statement on the matter from the EFL has ruled: “The EFL Board has determined that in line with Carabao Cup Rule 5.1, the Club was unable to fulfil its obligations to complete the fixture by virtue of the Council’s order and shall therefore forfeit the tie.”
Spurs will now automatically progress to the fourth round, where they will host Chelsea in a London derby at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The game is scheduled for 29 September.
Although Spurs would have been expected to beat Leyton Orient regardless, it guarantees that the club is one step closer to winning the elusive major trophy they seek – Spurs’ last piece of major silverware came in this competition during the 2007/08 campaign.
They also have the benefit of playing one less game in an otherwise congested schedule.
Just two days after the Leyton Orient game was supposed to be played, Spurs in action in a Europa League qualifier in North Macedonia against Shkendija.
As things stand, another Europa League game follows next week against Israeli side Maccabi Haifa just two days after they are supposed to play Chelsea in the Carabao Cup.