Former Manchester United star slams footballing authorities over the coronavirus pandemic

man utd wayne rooney


Wayne Rooney said they made “the right call in the end”, but has criticised the time it took for football authorities to postpone matches due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the threat of the pandemic coronavirus outbreak, the English top tier, Premier League and the second-tier EFL Championship have postponed all fixtures until April 4. At the same time, the FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have postponed the fixtures until April 4 in order to stop the widespread of the outbreak.

After the Gunners’ gaffer Mikel Arteta and Frank Lampard’s attacking midfielder, Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the pandemic virus, the decisions of postponing the clashes rather than playing them behind the closed doors came out as the outcome of “emergency club meeting” on 13th of March.

mikel arteta training season

The former Manchester United striker also proposed a radical shake-up of the schedule which could see the current season being concluded in the summer of 2020. And he also proposed that the next two seasons should be started during the winter as a result of stretching out the season till the end of summer 2020.

Wayne Rooney admits he and his Derby County teammates were “anxious” while waiting for updates at the training ground. Talking to the standard news outlet, The Times, Wayne Rooney said:

“After the emergency meeting, at last the right decision was made,”

Until then it almost felt like footballers in England were being treated like guinea pigs.

The rest of sport – tennis, Formula One, rugby, golf, football in other countries – was closing down and we were being told to carry on.

At Derby County, we sat at training on Thursday waiting for Boris Johnson to speak. People were anxious. Thankfully football made the right call in the end. We had to put the season on hold. Some people won’t be happy but I just think, in this case, football has to come second. It’s a sport. It’s just a sport.

If people’s lives are at risk, that has to come first – regardless of whether you’re going to win the league title, whether you’re trying to get into Europe or whether you’re going to get relegated or promoted.

We’re happy to play until September if the season extends to then, if that’s how it has to be. That’s our job. As long as we know we’re safe to play and it’s a safe environment for spectators, we’ll play.

The record goalscorer for Manchester United also said regarding the next World Cup. The next football global extravaganza will be held in November and December 2022 and this break should be considered as an opportunity by the players. If the season goes on to finish very late this year, he believes that the time should be used for the preparation for the World Cup.

“The next World Cup is in November and December 2022, so you could actually use this situation as an opportunity and say we’re going to finish the 2019-20 season later this year, then prepare for 2022 by having the next two seasons starting in winter.”

It will be harsh if the league gets concluded as the way it is in case of the Premier League. What should be the ideal solution if further play is not impossible this season? Comment your opinions below.