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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

What they said: coronavirus speaks to the world of sport

Sport around the world is facing an unprecedented challenge as it solves the problem of the coronavirus crisis.

Here, the PA news agency selects the best quotes from March 26th.

Captain Watford Troy Deeney launches himself against the so-called covidiots who ignore the government’s instructions to stay indoors.

Deeney, a father of three, is alarmed by those people who seem to ignore guidelines on how to stay home unless they are purchasing essential items, exercising or playing a role as a key worker.

“We all have to stay home and follow government guidelines,” Deeney told the Watford website.

“How many more notices do we need? They said they will pay 80% of wages and people will continue to work.

“It will have to go like Russia, where if you go out, I am five years in prison.

“Some see it as a little jolly-up and it’s a shame because it could affect so many. You have to hope that people see the curve in Italy and Spain and get (gravity) from it.”

Scottish chief Steve Clarke urged the Scottish army to join the fight against the virus.

Clarke’s team was expected to face Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off semifinal Thursday evening, but the Hampden showdown was shelved until June following the pandemic.

He said in a statement: “This sense of union, loyalty and commitment is necessary in our lives today, more than ever. The prime minister and chief medical officer were clear in outlining exactly what the nation needs to do to combat the virus that has become a global pandemic.

“I urge all of you to follow that advice: stay at home, protect your family and protect others. Stay home, save lives. Simple.”

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill followed the example of what would have been the eve of the playoff semi-final against Bosnia.

“Soccer players, managers and coaches are not immune to the potential effects of this deadly virus,” said O’Neill in a statement.

“We have family and friends classified as vulnerable. We take care of them deeply and we don’t want them to be damaged.

“We can help protect our loved ones by working together to tackle the spread of Covid-19 and by following the guidelines issued by the government and health authorities. It is in everyone’s interest to do so. “

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti wrote an open letter to fans urging them to “respect and protect” SSN workers by following government guidelines on the coronavirus.

The Italian also stressed that people’s health and safety was “the number one priority to win this fight”.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce requested a “Football Festival” with games every day to help complete the season when it is safe to play again.

Brighton and Hove Albion press conference - American Express Elite Football Performance Center
Graham Potter kept in touch with his players (Gareth Fuller / PA)

Brighton became the first club to host a press conference via video link on Thursday, with manager Graham Potter flanked by CEO Paul Barber to answer questions.

When asked how he spent his days, Potter replied, “I talked to all the players one by one, to make sure they are fine.

“And then watch the visualization of some games and bounce on some ideas to be ready for when we get started.”

Gymnast Max Whitlock has admitted that her hopes of holding on to her Olympic titles have been hit by the inevitable decision to postpone the Tokyo Games this year.

The 27-year-old said to the PA news agency: “I have to be honest and say that every year it gets harder – training is harder and recovery takes longer – so it will be difficult.

“But I’m trying to look at the positives and I’m just grateful that they haven’t canceled the Games permanently. It’s a situation that no athlete could have prepared for, and it’s about how we can react in the best way.”

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