Former Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has expressed his concerns on how footballers were treated like ‘guinea pigs’ during the coronavirus outbreak by the football and government authorities, due to the postponement delay.
In his column in the Sunday Times, he wrote saying that it took so long for the authorities to suspend football events. Unlike other sports like rugby, Formula 1, golf, tennis and football in other countries which were closed down, they were being told to carry on.
He went on to ask why it took Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to get ill for the game in England to do the right thing.
“I think a lot of footballers were wondering, ‘Is it something to do with money being involved in this?’. Why did we wait until Friday?”
The Elite football in England has been suspended until at least 3rd of April with the Premier League saying that its return will depend on the conditions at the time.
“After the emergency meeting, at last, the right decision was made – until then it almost felt like footballers in England were being treated like guinea pigs,” he added.
“Thankfully football made the right call in the end. We had to put the season on hold. Football’s a game we all love, we all watch, we all play but when something like coronavirus happens — when it’s a world crisis — you have to make decisions. Some people won’t be happy but I just think, in this case, football has to come second. It’s a sport. It’s just a sport. If people’s lives are at risk, that has to come first — regardless of whether you’re going to win the league title, whether you’re trying to get into Europe or whether you’re going to get relegated or promoted.”
However, Rooney added that if his family got infected through him because of playing when it wasn’t safe and they got seriously ill, he would think hard of ever playing again and that he would never forgive the authorities.
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