Several Premier League stars will reportedly refuse to return to training next week due to fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The deadly disease has claimed more than 32,000 lives in the UK, and the COVID-19 outbreak has seen top-flight football suspended since March 13.
The Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’ proposal aims to resume the 2019/20 season no earlier than June 12, with players beginning to train in small groups from Monday.
However, the Daily Mail claims players have told their managers about the ‘major reservations’ they have over returning to work.
Premier League clubs will hold video calls with their players to go through protocols ahead of their return.
But players are set to tell their clubs they do not want to train while the coronavirus threat looms large.
Subsequently, it could see Premier League clubs resuming the season without their full squads, which would be a huge problem.
Give COVID-19 the red card
The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pubs, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…
STAY AT HOME. Only leave for the following purposes:
- to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
- to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
- for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
- to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary
For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.
The government has also issued further detail on what we can do during lockdown.
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.
Earlier this week, the Premier League was boosted by the government’s announcement that sport may resume behind closed doors from June 1.
Premier League players such as Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Manuel Lanzini have already expressed their concerns about returning to play.
Aguero revealed players are scared, Sterling admitted to having mixed emotions about the prospect of playing, while Lanzini insisted it would be ‘crazy’ to return without a coronavirus vaccine.
But no one has been more critical than Tottenham’s Danny Rose, who called plans for football to return a ‘f***ing joke’.
On Instagram, Rose said: “I’m not even going to lie. The government is saying bring football back because it’s going to boost the nation’s morale, I don’t give a f*** about the nation’s morale.
“People’s lives are at risk, you know what I mean? Football shouldn’t even be spoken about coming back until the numbers have dropped massively. It’s b*******.
“We’ll see, I think I’m getting tested on Friday, so we’ll just have to wait and see. I listened to the announcement, no football until June 1st or something, I don’t even pay attention to any of that.
“I’m sad that people are getting sick and being affected. Football should be the last of things that need to be sorted.
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“I think everyone will get tested as soon as they get back and we’ll see what happens. I just hope the numbers stay low so we can get back to normal as soon as possible.”
Premier League players have also expressed their fears over returning with each other on WhatsApp.
And those concerns, which have been sent privately on the messaging app, will be passed on to club officials in the forthcoming days.