The Foxes had petitioned the Premier League Board that they did not have the required number of players — 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper — to fulfill the tie, and saw their application approved much like Everton had also done recently. For Leicester City, it was a combination of COVID-19 cases, injuries and players away on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations that has led to this situation.
The game had originally been scheduled for December 19th, but had been pushed back to January 11th after the Foxes had asked for a similar dispensation.
There has been some furore on why the Foxes felt comfortable enough putting out a mixed side to easily beat Watford 4-1 yesterday in the FA Cup Third Round but are now unable to play the Toffees, but there is also a difference in squad policies between the Premier League and the FA. The Premier League leaves a lot more leeway with their ‘13 plus 1’ rule to seek a postponement while the FA Cup rules are stricter in insisting a club play with what they have including youth teams.
Per the Premier League website on their guidelines -
The Board assesses applications to postpone matches on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and adapted COVID-19 postponement guidance, implemented in light of the new Omicron variant.
The Board will assess a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak at the club; and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match.
The Board must also consider the wider risks to the opposition and other people the club representatives may come into contact with.
Click here to read the updated guidance on the Premier League’s match postponement process.