London (AFP) – Players should be allowed to refuse to take part if the Premier League resumes amid the coronavirus crisis, former Watford forward Marvin Sordell said on Monday.
Premier League chiefs hope the season can be finished over the summer, but their ‘Project Restart’ has come in for criticism for potentially putting players at risk.
Although the Premier League is reportedly willing to pay for testing for players and staff if matches resume, that has not been enough ease the fears of some stars.
Sordell, who also featured for Burnley and Bolton before retiring last year, believes players should only return if they are comfortable with their personal situations while the virus is still a threat.
“Some people will be living on their own and they won’t have any responsibilities in that sense, or those fears that they may pass the virus onto somebody else if they contracted it themselves,” Sordell told Britain’s Press Association.
“There will be other players who live with their parents, or they are their parents’ only means of being able to get food.
“Their partners might be pregnant or they might have young kids, and some might have underlying health conditions. Some players themselves might have underlying health conditions.
“I think people’s own situations need to be respected. If they want to play, and it’s safe to do so, then allow them to play. If they don’t want to play because they don’t think it’s safe to do so, I think that needs to be respected.”
While Sordell is concerned players may be forced into returning to action, Norwich manager Daniel Farke has backed the Premier League to find a safe way of completing the season.
Farke, whose team are bottom of the table, told Sky Sports: “I totally trust the key people at the Premier League that have to make the decisions and not easy decisions because there are disadvantages for every scenario.
“For us we deserve the chance to work on our little miracle and stay in this league and my general attitude is that we should try everything we can to finish the season.
“But, if it is the situation that – by not finishing the season – we save one life then we should do that.”
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