(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says Premier League clubs should focus on educating players about new coronavirus safety measures to ensure they hit the ground running when football gets the green light to resume.
Professional soccer has been suspended since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 32,000 in the United Kingdom, the highest death toll in Europe.
The 20 Premier League clubs held a conference call last week to discuss plans for the resumption of training this month but deferred making a decision on resuming the season until the government gave the go-ahead.
“The hardest thing is educating players and everybody involved at training grounds and on match days that this is different,” Arteta, who was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus on March 12, told Arsenal great Ian Wright on Twitter.
“We have to be strict with the protocols. Common sense will dictate when we can go to the next step ... we can’t rush it. We’re all aiming to play, we need to play, we are willing to play — it’s important for society and the economy,” he added.
“We have that responsibility. We have to be ready for whenever they say ‘Go ahead, open that door’ so we can hit the gas.”
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford