Next Monday, the Premier League will hold a crucial meeting regarding the 2019/20 season.
The day before, the government will reveal the country’s next steps in dealing with the global coronavirus pandemic. Any decisions made by Boris Johnson and co. will dictate the Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’ plans.
Currently, the plan is for clubs to begin training at the end of this month ahead of a potential return in the middle of June.
Of course, we don’t know whether any of that will be possible and a lot depends on how the country continues to deal with the spread of the virus in the coming weeks and months.
But is it fair to make players play behind closed doors if the rest of the country is still in lockdown?
It’s a conversation we’ve been having ever since the ‘Project Restart’ idea was first touted.
Some will say they get paid a ridiculous amount of money and if they’re asked to play, they should. Some will argue that it’s unfair to separate them from their families for a long period and risk catching the virus through contact with other players.
But what do the players themselves think of the plans?
Some have already stepped forward and conveyed their fears including Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero. And the latest to do just that is West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini.
The midfielder believes that it would be “crazy” to start playing football until a vaccine is found.
'If you ask me if I want to play, obviously, but you need to protect others. I wouldn't start now.'
The entire world is working hard to try and create a vaccine for COVID-19 with it reportedly taking between 12-18 months.
However, there’s a chance it will take much longer than that.
Take the HIV pandemic, for example. Thirty years on, there still isn’t a vaccine.
While the mumps vaccine - considered to be the fastest ever approved in 1967 - took four years to be licensed as a working drug.
If Lanzini doesn’t think football should return until a vaccine is found, we could be without football for a very, very long time.
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