Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, says getting the balance between safety and normalcy is key to returning to the Premier League.
The Premier League is expected to hold conference calls on Wednesday with club captains, managers, and medical experts and will focus on player welfare issues.
“It’s never easy because we’ve been ordered to stay indoors for over six weeks and the next few minutes it’s the beginning of what’s known as the lightening of those restrictions. The players don’t want to be used as guinea pigs and that’s going to happen in professional sport for everybody. It’s about finding the safety balance and trying as much as possible to get back to normality” Taylor said.
Taylor also added that he wanted to try to quench any concerns that BAME players may have about returning to practice.
Figures published at the end of April by NHS England revealed the ongoing pattern of people with a black, Asian or ethnic minority background being disproportionately affected by a coronavirus.
Taylor said: “If there is an incident of higher levels for those players, we need to make sure our BAME players are adequately covered. We need to give everyone trust that they took every single safety measure on their behalf.”
Clubs are planning to start training on Monday but only if after the coronavirus pandemic there is consensus with players and managers.
Players in the Premier League will also be required to provide written confirmation that they agree to new safety measures taken by their club before returning to group training.
Taylor said returning to training would be a “five-step process,” and would like to make sure players are as healthy as possible.
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