Not scared but reserved: Sterling on plans to resume Premier League - GulfToday

Not scared but reserved: Sterling on plans to resume Premier League


Raheem Sterling.

Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling expressed concerns regarding Premier League’s plan to resume football in the country. All sporting activities have been suspended in England since March as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus.

Sterling stated that he isn’t scared about the prospect of returning to the field during such unprecedented times, but he wants the conditions to be safe not just for the footballers but also for others who are associated with the game.

“The moment we do go back it just needs to be a moment where it’s not just for footballing reasons, it’s safe for not just us footballers but the whole medical staff, referees,” Sterling said in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.

“I don’t know how that’s going to work, but I feel like once that side of the people’s safety and the players’ safety is secured and their wellbeing is looked after, then that’s the right time to go back in.

“Until then, I’m... how can I say... not scared but reserved and thinking what the worst outcome could be,” he added.

Rose slams EPL restart plans

The Premier League should not restart the season until the number of new novel coronavirus cases has dropped significantly as lives are at risk, Newcastle United defender Danny Rose said on Monday.

“The government’s saying ‘bring football back because it’s going to boost the nation’s morale’,” Rose, 29, said on an Instagram live video, adding he did not care about the country’s morale more than his own health.

“People’s lives are at risk. Football shouldn’t even be spoken about until the numbers have dropped massively ... I listened to the announcement yesterday, no football until June 1 or something, I don’t even pay attention to any of that.”

Britain has recorded more than 223,000 cases and over 32,000 deaths from the coronavirus - the highest number in Europe.

The Professional Footballers Association’s deputy chief Bobby Barnes said black players were concerned about the restart after a British government study said black people are nearly twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than whites.

“I think I’m getting tested on Friday, so we’ll just have to wait and see,” Rose, who is on loan from Tottenham Hotspur until the end of the season, added.

“I’m sad that people are getting sick and being affected. Football should be the last of things that need to be sorted.”

Discussions continue between the Premier League and the government about the details of how a resumed season would be carried out, with clubs hoping they can avoid playing at neutral venues.

Last week, clubs were told any return to complete the season would have to be with games played behind closed doors and at neutral venues - to limit the risk of supporters turning up outside grounds. But that idea had been rejected by some of the clubs facing the threat of relegation, such as Watford and Brighton & Hove Albion, who expressed concern about the fairness of playing games at neutral venues. The league has to give European soccer’s governing body UEFA details of their plans by May 25.

Earlier on Monday, the British government published its detailed COVID-19 recovery strategy. It has ruled out any elite sports event to be held in England before June 1. The Premier League has been suspended since March 13 and is aiming at restarting the season in June.


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