Newcastle manager Steve Bruce says it is "morally wrong" for football to continue amid a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases across the United Kingdom.

More than 60 games have been called off due to Covid this season, while Newcastle were the first team to have a Premier League match - versus Aston Villa in December - postponed.

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Bruce does not feel it is right to allow footballers to fall ill as a consequence of keeping the industry going through the pandemic.

"Financially its right to play on, but for me, morally, it's probably wrong," Bruce said ahead of Newcastle's FA Cup third-round tie against Arsenal on Saturday.

"I understand people want to see a game of football but we are just as vulnerable as everybody else.

"The speed which it hit our club within hours of each other, it was quite incredible how it rips through you. It's difficult to contain and stop and it leaves people sick."

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FA CUP HIT BY COVID CASES

Brentford boss Thomas Frank was one of two people in the club to test positive for Covid-19 on Friday with serious questions being asked over whether the tournament should carry on.

The club confirmed Brentford B Head Coach Neil MacFarlane will take charge of their FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho was on the touchline with the Brentford head coach during his side's 2-0 victory over the Bees in their League Cup semi-final clash on Tuesday. However, Mourinho has since confirmed his entire squad have tested negative for coronavirus.

The news comes as Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow confirmed 10 first-team players are among 14 positive cases of Covid-19 at the Premier League club.

Villa's FA Cup third-round tie against Liverpool on Friday night will go ahead with the Premier League side playing a team made up of Under-18 and Under-23 players. Villa's first team, players and staff will not attend the match. Villa closed their training ground on Thursday.

Southampton’s match against Shrewsbury has been postponed due to Covid cases at the League One club, while a Covid outbreak at Derby means they will pick a team made up of reserves and Under-18 players for their third-round clash with Chorley on Saturday.

On Friday the English Football League (EFL) confirmed 112 positive cases of Covid-19 in the latest test of players and club staff.

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