Amid a hectic footballing schedule which has seen games being played in short intervals, club managers have been left anguished, for all the right reasons. Several managers have expressed their reservations over the international break, fearing injuries and COVID-19 threats. And Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has hit out at the international format via a sarcastic Instagram post.
Mourinho saw several of his first-team players leave the Premier League bubble to join their national teams across Europe to participate in the] friendlies as well as the Nations League. To add more to his worries, right-back Matt Doherty tested positive for the novel coronavirus after playing for the Republic of Ireland against Wales last Sunday.
Moreover, Spurs winger Heung-min Son was forced to undergo quarantine in his team hotel after six of his South Korean teammates contracted the deadly virus. These reports cast further pressure on the managers with several absentees amid rising COVID-19 cases in football.
And Mourinho could not hide his anguish on the safety protocols which is being followed during the international break. The former Real Madrid boss posted a picture of himself working out in a gym, accompanied by a sarcastic caption taking a dig at the rising COVID-19 cases in football.
The caption read, "Amazing week of football. Great emotions in the national team matches, superb friendlies and total safety. Covid test results after matches been played, randomers running on the pitch while team sessions are taking place and much more. After another training session with only 6 players, it is now time to take care of myself.”
Keeping in mind the rising Premier League COVID-19 cases, the authorities introduced a stringent set of guidelines in the latter half of the previous season. Fans are banned from attending the games, a decision which could be extended throughout the course of the entire season, as per the Premier League coronavirus safety rules.
Project Restart, which was chalked out after a 100-day hiatus, stipulated every player be tested twice a week for the deadly virus. But with Premier League cases in control amid stringent rules, the rule was relaxed to conduct tests once a week only. A player who tests positive shall spend 10 days in quarantine, suggests the Premier League coronavirus safety protocol.