Ex-Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro says it is too soon for English football to return amid coronavirus

‘We are talking about loss of life here’: Ex-Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro insists it is too soon for English football to return amid coronavirus pandemic and warns about dangers to the players

  • Dr Eva Carneiro has warned that English football may be returning too soon 
  • The ex-Chelsea team doctor says players’ lives are at risk if play goes ahead 
  • On Monday, chiefs are set to approve plans for clubs to return to training
  • But Dr Carneiro says that the deadly virus does not discriminate  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Dr Eva Carneiro has warned that English football must not make a rushed return as the former Chelsea team doctor warned of the dangers of resuming the season too soon. 

Premier League chiefs will meet on Monday to approve phase one of a three-stage process that will, if all goes to plan, lead to the season being resumed having been sanctioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The first step will see teams return to train in small groups. 

However, Dr Carneiro, who worked at Chelsea for six years between 2009 and 2015, has warned that the players’ safety is at risk if football returns too soon. 

Dr Eva Carneiro has warned that it may be too soon for English football to make a return

A meeting on Monday is set to see training return in the first step towards Project Restart

A meeting on Monday is set to see training return in the first step towards Project Restart

‘My message to them is we cannot talk about returning to full-time competition when we haven’t even delivered phase one,’ she told The Times. 

‘We need to learn and adapt from phase one first and I’m most concerned that the guidance does not consider the culture of football and the lack of existing medical governance.’

Football in England has ground to a halt since mid-March following Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta testing positive for the deadly virus, which has taken 34,636 lives in Britain at the time of writing.

A number of players have tested positive, too, but the need to satisfy contractual demands, including the mega-money broadcasting deal, has left the top flight scrambling to find a safe solution to see the season completed.

But the former Chelsea doctor says that playing football is putting lives at risk unnecessarily

But the former Chelsea doctor says that playing football is putting lives at risk unnecessarily

This weekend, those hopes were given a big boost after the Bundesliga returned to action in Germany, with substitutes sat at a social distance while donning face masks. 

Dr Carneiro says that Covid-19 is not solely a threat to older people, with a large number of youngsters losing their lives to the virus. 

‘This isn’t scaremongering,’ she added. ‘I understand the economic implications at play here. A lot of the sports that will suffer are women’s sports, matters very close to my heart. But there needs to be an understanding of the risks.’

The former Chelsea and West Ham team doctor’s warning comes after Premier League clubs were revealed to harbour concerns that their rivals may lie about their players testing positive.

 

Her comments come after several Premier League stars expressed similar concerns

Her comments come after several Premier League stars expressed similar concerns

The proposed coronavirus testing protocol will see the club of a player who has tested positive notified of the identity of the player in question, but due to medical confidentiality requirements, the league will be told simply that a player has tested positive, without additional information on identity, The Times reports.  

With the huge amount of money involved in the top flight, some fear that a manager may be inclined to select a player regardless of the positive test result.

Monday’s meeting, should all go as expected, would be a step in the right direction as the Premier League ramps up plans to see the season reach its conclusion.

Some clubs have already returned to training, with players undergoing sessions individually under the watchful eye of club staff. Over the weekend, Wolves returned to Compton Park and were required to bring their own ball under strict hygiene measures. 

Several players have expressed concerns over the resumption of the season, including Manchester City stars Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, as well as Troy Deeney and Glenn Murray.