It’s surely only a matter of time before the Premier League is forced to take action to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a massive effect on sport throughout Europe, with UEFA now discussing whether to suspend the Champions League and Europa League.
Numerous games have been called off or played behind closed doors already this week.
English football authorities are meeting behind the scenes to discuss contingency plans. All we know is that at present, there is huge uncertainty about the future of upcoming Premier League fixtures.
On Thursday, it emerged that an unnamed top flight club had placed its players into isolation due to three of them showing symptoms of the virus. It’s now emerged that the club in question is Leicester City.
Leicester are due to play Watford on Saturday.
Brendan Rodgers confirmed the worrying news in a press conference.
“We’ve had a few players that have shown symptoms and signs (of coronavirus). We’ve followed procedures and (as a precaution) they have been kept away from the squad,” the Foxes boss told reporters.
“Of course, from a football perspective, [cancellation or games behind played behind closed doors] would be a shame, but the public’s health is the most important aspect in all of this.
“Working in football, it’s about having that agility to move with what’s happening in football. We’re guided by football and federations. We have to press on with our work and prepare as normal.
“The game is all about the players and the fans. If you have one of those not there, it’s obviously not the same.”
It’s understood to be a precautionary measure, but one which emphasises how imperative it is that the Premier League exercises necessary caution.
Serie A and La Liga are among the other leagues around the world which have been put on hold.
While the Premier League has largely been unaffected so far, Manchester City’s game with Arsenal had to be postponed due to Gunners’ squad coming into contact with the Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who has since tested positive.
There are also big questions now being asked about whether games should at the very least be held behind closed doors.
Rodgers is absolutely correct in that the health of everyone concerned in these games is the priority, whatever decision is taken.
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