MOST OF the Isle of Wight Saturday League games scheduled to be played this afternoon (Saturday) have been called off, with several hit not by the bad weather, but by a Covid-19 outbreak.

The first game called off this week was as early as Tuesday — the Division 1 clash between Ventnor and Cowes Sports Reserves — after a Yachtsmen player was tested positive for coronavirus last Saturday.

Northwood St John and Osborne Coburg football clubs have also seen their games postponed due to Covid — Northwood's Division 1 match at ECS, their reserves match at home to West Wight Reserves and Osborne Coburg's Division 2 match at Wroxall and their reserves game against Ryde Saints A. 

The Ventnor match was unofficially postponed last Sunday, but the decision to rubber-stamp the game being called off was made on Tuesday once representatives of the Saturday League and the Isle of Wight Divisional Football Association (IWDFA) had consulted.

Andrew Justice, honorary secretary of the IWDFA, said: "The decision was unanimous. There was no alternative but to call the Ventnor game off.

"The Cowes player was tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday after he said he felt very unwell after training on Thursday last week.

"He had obviously been mixing with other players in training, so there was a general risk of contamination among the team.

"Northwood and Osborne Coburg were affected in a different way. Both clubs play at the Isle of Wight Community Club in Cowes and share the clubhouse.

"The majority of players were in there after their games enjoying a drink, but another person at the bar, who was a non-player, had tested positively for Covid-19.

"The matches were called off yesterday (Friday) after we strongly recommended the two clubs postponed their games today."

Mr Justice said the Isle of Wight Community Club was closed down this week so they could carry out a deep clean of the premises.

The Cowes Sports first team, however, will be playing their home match against Christchurch in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier League, after Westwood Park passed a pitch inspection this morning.

Mr Justice added: "Cowes Sports is a very responsible club. Their two teams probably trained separately."

All other games called off (so far) today are down to the appalling weather conditions across the Isle of Wight.     

                              TODAY'S GAMES OFF (AS OF 1.40PM)

Harwoods Isle of Wight League Division 1: Brading Town v Bembridge, ECS v Northwood St John; Ventnor v Cowes Sports Reserves; West Wight v Sandown; Ryde Saints v Shanklin.

Division 2: Adgestone v Oakfield; Wroxall v Osborne Coburg; Newchurch v Yarmouth and Calbourne; Newport A v Seaview.

Combination 1: Seaview v Binstead and COB; Northwood St John Reserves v West Wight Reserves; Oakfield Reserves v Brading Town Reserves; Sandown Reserves v Ryde Saints Reserves.

Combination 2: Osborne Coburg Reserves v Ryde Saints A; Yarmouth and Calbourne Reserves v Vectis Reserves; Bembridge Reserves v Niton Community Reserves; Sandown A v Ventnor Reserves.

                                          GAMES STILL ON

Sydenhams Wessex League Premier Division 1: Cowes Sports v Christchurch.

Sydenhams Wessex League, Division 1: East Cowes Vics v Bemerton Heath Harlequins.

Harwoods Island League Division 1: Binstead and COB v Carisbrooke United; Vectis v Whitecroft and Barton Sports.

Division 2: Niton Community v Pan Sports.

Combination 1: Carisbrooke United Reserves v Whitecroft and Barton Sports Reserves; Shanklin Reserves v ECS Reserves.

Combination 2: Wootton Reserves v Newchurch Reserves.