Since Tuesday, the twenty Premier League clubs have voted unanimously to resume training in small groups "maintaining measures of social distancing." A measure that seems to be favorable for a resumption of the Premier League season, interrupted since March due to the health crisis.
However, the resumption of the English Championship still worries some players. "Honestly, from what I can see, many players, the majority I would say, are not comfortable with the idea of taking over now," said Willian, Chelsea forward to Globo Esporte . Troy Deeney, the captain of Watford, announced to him on Tuesday that he refused to resume training for fear of contaminating his relatives. "We're supposed to be back this week. I said that I will not go (…) My son is 5 months old and he has breathing difficulties. I don't want to go home and put him in danger, ”he explained in a podcast.
A statement backed by another Premier League player, Danny Rose, currently on loan from Tottenham to Newcastle United. “People suggest that we should resume football, as if we were guinea pigs or laboratory rats (…) I wonder if it's worth it. I could potentially risk my health to entertain people and, to be honest, I don't want to be involved in this sort of thing, "said the English international.
"Impossible to replay a match after one or two weeks of training"
Watford is among the Premier League clubs affected by six Covid-19 positive cases out of a total of 748 tests performed on Sunday and Monday. "The idea that someone could be punished during a pandemic for trying to protect the health of their family is inhuman and unacceptable," recalled the boss of the FIFPro world players' union, Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, while the clubs have given no sign of a possible sanction.
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But beyond fears about the risk of contamination, other players point to the lack of form if the Premier League resumes. Aston Villa defender Matt Targett has questioned the Premier League's recovery plan, which is due to resume on June 12, warning that the players will not be in their best shape. An argument shared by Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling: "It is not possible to replay a match after one or two weeks of training," he said during a live broadcast on Youtube. You have to have four to five weeks (of preparation) (…) You cannot replay directly like that ”.
For its part, the British government ensures to resume only "if it is safe, because the health and well-being of players, coaches and staffs come first, said Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Sports this week. It is now up to the football authorities to agree and finalize the details of their plans. ”
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