West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna has said that the response to the coronavirus crisis by the English football authorities has been “unacceptable”.
The English Premier League, as well as Football League fixtures, have been delayed until April after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi both tested positive for coronavirus.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable that our game against Arsenal did go ahead,” said Ogbonna as quoted by Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra.
“They’d played Olympiakos and the Greek team’s owner had already been struck down with the virus. It almost seems as if someone needs to die in order for timely decisions to be made.
“It’s not a footballing matter, but it’s entrenched in the country’s mentality. They haven’t fully grasped the risk surrounding this virus which can be spread in just a few seconds if you don’t behave in the correct way.
“I haven’t been tested, which is further proof of the lax attitude here, to say the least.”
Ogbonna feels that West Ham’s game against the Gunners on March 7 should have never been allowed to go ahead.
As things stand, the league is due to resume in April but based on the extent of the severity of coronavirus, some are sceptical as to whether the league will actually resume on this date.
The worst case scenario could be that the remaining games are not played.
In that case, the Football Association will have to decide upon a fair method of determining the outcome of this season.
The major controversy that would arise would be determining the top four as well as who gets relegated.
Ogbonna is perhaps being a bit too harsh on the Premier League.
Coronavirus is a major problem but the world is still at a stage where more is being learned about the pandemic.
The Premier League can actually be applauded for the way in which they are handling the situation right now and putting the health of players and fans above the game.
Some football fans have even been critical of the league for cancelling the games.
In addition to Arteta and Hudson-Odoi, other notable football personalities who have tested positive for coronavirus include Juventus defender Daniele Rugani as well as Fiorentina’s Patrick Cutrone.