Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is wary that coronavirus cases in the Premier League could be on the rise again after next month’s international break.
The Premier League previously had a COVID-19 problem, with a sharp rise in cases reported by top tier clubs coinciding with the peak of the second wave of the virus in the UK.
The league looks to have got matters under control, but the international break next months threatens to undo all the good work that has been done, or so Pep Guardiola believes.
Guardiola is quoted by the BBC raising his concerns:
‘The Premier League should be concerned about this.”
“The only way to be protected from this virus is to stay at home and social distance. No contact, don’t travel, don’t move. Now the players are going to their national teams and it is difficult afterwards to control it. So, unfortunately, something is going to rise.”
“I would love to say it is not going to happen but from experience, it happened in two or three waves already. If you move, you take a risk to be contaminated.”
It does seem bizarre that, in the midst of a pandemic, pointless international friendlies are still taking place, which essentially stage an unnecessary platform for the mixing of players from different clubs and countries.
But, if UEFA are serious about pushing ahead with the European Championships in the summer, then international sides need to get some minutes under their belts as a collective.
It’s a delicate balancing act.