Published: 14:00, 13 July 2021
| Updated: 16:05, 13 July 2021
Gillingham have been forced to cancel their home pre-season games against QPR and Peterborough United because of a Covid outbreak.
Several players tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday during a routine test of all personnel. That led to them calling off games against Dartford (Tuesday) and Margate (Wednesday) during this week.
Now the club have had to scrap their next two home fixtures against Championship opposition while players isolate. The Gills were due to face QPR at Priestfield on Friday night, in what would have been their first game at home infront of fans since February, 2020.
Championship newboys Peterborough were set to visit on Tuesday, July 20 for two 75 minute matches. Gillingham have also pulled out of a game at Ebbsfleet United on Saturday, where they were due to field a young team.
The Gills only have 18 professionals on their books, two of whom are injured, and don’t have the numbers to fulfil the fixtures.
A club statement said: "Following a management meeting earlier today (Tuesday) it has been decided that our forthcoming pre-season matches scheduled with QPR on Friday (July 16) and Peterborough United next Tuesday (July 20) will be cancelled.
"A number of first-team players tested positive for Covid-19 over Sunday and Monday, so those individuals are now self isolating."
The Gills suspended ticket sales for the QPR match on Monday and say refunds have already been processed.
It’s a big blow for the Gills who are gearing up for the 2021/22 season in League 1. They only began their pre-season campaign on Saturday with a match at Welling United. Those games are vital for fitness.
Gillingham’s next game scheduled is for Saturday, July 24, when they take on Colchester United. Fans will then hope to finally return to Priestfield on Tuesday, July 27 when they host Millwall.
Evans’ men will wrap up their pre-season schedule with a trip to Leyton Orient on Saturday, July 31 and a game at Norwich City’s Carrow Road on Tuesday, August 3.
The new league season kicks off on Saturday, August 7, at home to Lincoln City.
Fellow League 1 side Doncaster Rovers have also been hit by Covid, forcing them to call a friendly off on Tuesday as several players were isolating.
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