A FOOTBALL club is facing sanctions after it was forced to postpone two matches following the news a player and two committee members had tested positive for Covid-19.

Brantham Athletic decided to postpone its league match at home to Long Melford FC on Saturday, after the positive tests were recorded.

The player was immediately withdrawn from the squad and is in isolation for 14 days.

The club also decided to take the move of postponing its reserves squad tie against Dedham Old Boys.

Darren Smith, the club’s chief executive, said: “Due to the crossover between the first team squad and the reserves, both in terms of players and management, it was felt the sensible position to take was to postpone their game against Dedham, a decision that Dedham themselves welcomed.”

But the Essex and Suffolk Border League has issued the club with a charge for failure to meet a fixture, a sanction the club is appealing.

Mr Smith said: “We hope this is just a protocol and that our appeal will be treated with respect and consideration as no-one should be forced to play football in the current circumstances if they don’t feel comfortable.”

Brantham Leisure Centre, which hosts the club’s home fixtures, has undergone a deep clean and remains open.

The first team will return to action against Ely City FC on Saturday.

Mr Smith said: “No players within the squad except the initial one has tested positive or shown symptoms.

“Several players have had Covid tests at their own request and have tested negative.”

He added: “We know as a club that this potentially will not be the last time this happens, it was seen at the weekend that several clubs postponed matches due to the pandemic.

“All players have been told that if they show any symptoms at all then they are to immediately notify the club and team management and arrange for a test as well as isolate.

“We also know that the three people in question are all doing well in their recovery and wish them well.”

Alongside its move to postpone the matches, the club has split its players between “two bubbles”, with no crossover permitted between groups for 14 days.

The first team and reserves are contained to one bubble, while the under-18s and development team are in another.