In an unprecedented turn of events, the Premier League has officially announced the rescheduling of the Bournemouth vs. Luton Town fixture, which was abandoned on Saturday due to a medical emergency involving Luton’s Tom Lockyer.
The decision comes after Lockyer collapsed on the field, suffering a cardiac arrest, prompting a collective agreement to halt the match.
The distressing incident occurred 60 minutes into the game, with the score leveled at 1-1, as Dominic Solanke had equalized Elijah Adebayo’s opener.
Lockyer’s collapse, reminiscent of a similar incident during Luton’s playoff final victory over Coventry City six months ago, led to surgery to address a heart issue.
As of the latest update from Luton, Lockyer remains hospitalized, undergoing tests and scans. The club, however, refrains from providing a detailed update on his condition, respecting the sensitivity of the matter.
The Premier League, in a released statement, confirmed the decision to replay the fixture in its entirety.
The statement expressed gratitude to the swift actions of medical staff and everyone involved in responding to the distressing situation. The rescheduled date will be determined in consultation with relevant parties.
The Premier League’s decision acknowledges the gravity of the circumstances that led to the abandonment of the match in the 59th minute. The collective agreement involved match officials, players, managers from both clubs, and league representatives.
With speculation arising on potential dates for the rearranged game, the mid-January staggered gameweek emerges as a likely solution.
However, considering Premier League clubs’ entry into the FA Cup next month and the possibility of replays, rescheduling after January could prove challenging.
As both Bournemouth and Luton are not involved in continental competitions, the last viable window for the replay aligns with the Champions League’s last 16 first-leg ties, tentatively until April.
Amidst the rescheduling discussions, Luton finds themselves in deep relegation trouble, trailing five points behind safety and facing Newcastle United in their final pre-Christmas fixture.
Bournemouth, enjoying a 10-point cushion above the drop zone, looks ahead to a clash against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday.
The football community awaits the confirmation of the rescheduled fixture, hoping for a smooth recovery for Tom Lockyer and a safe and competitive rematch between Bournemouth and Luton Town.