Hodgson admits he would have little choice but to follow coronavirus protocol if government bans over-70s from football – The Sun

ROY HODGSON admits he would have little choice but to follow government advice if they decide to ban over-70s from football grounds in the country.

Government officials are due to meet sports bodies on Monday to discuss what steps should be taken to stop the spread of coronavirus in the UK.

 Roy Hodgson may be forced to miss Crystal Palace games because of coronavirus restrictions


Roy Hodgson may be forced to miss Crystal Palace games because of coronavirus restrictionsCredit: PA:Press Association

One of the suggestions on the table from health officials is the idea of stopping anyone over 70 from attending matches – which could have an impact on whether the 72-year-old Crystal Palace boss would be allowed to take his place in the dugout at games.

Hodgson, who saw his Eagles beat Watford 1-0 thanks to a goal from Jordan Ayew, insists he has never been healthier and that all steps are being taken by the club to ensure they are not hit by Covid 19.

But that matter may be taken out of his hands should Public Health England tell the Premier League and other sports to prevent entry for the elderly – the age group most at risk.

Hodgson said: “Whatever decisions are made you have to abide by don’t you, there’s no question of that.

“We live in a democracy and we are all law abiding citizens.

“I’ll worry about that when the time comes, but certainly I have never felt healthier and never felt happier about the environment I am in, in terms of health at a time when people are asking questions about the environment – I think I’m in the best possible place.

“I presume that they are thinking of that to protect us, because from what I have heard and read it’s the people who are older who are most at risk.

“But I feel very healthy, certainly the things I do at the club are going to keep me a lot healthier than the average guy, especially the average guy who spends a lot of his time on the tube train every day.

“I must say I don’t have any fears in that respect, but of course what we are doing at the moment is our level best to make sure that we respect all the guidelines, respect all the things that can be done.

“We have cleaners going round the training ground all the time. We have disinfected everything, we have handwashes everywhere, the players are no longer shaking hands or hugging each other.

“We’re doing all the things that are there to be done – but at the final analysis we’re in the hands of the government who will make the decision on behalf of the country.

“But I wasn’t aware it was the elderly people spreading the virus I just thought we were the ones at risk from it.”

The Premier League have not come up with any suggestions to block those aged 70 and over from attending matches, it is understood to be a suggestion made within government circles.

But they and the EFL have been left with no choice but to follow the guidance of Public Health England and the government – and will do everything needed to stop the spread of the illness.

Italy has already ordered all matches in the country to be played behind closed doors, which is another option government advisers are considering.

Television companies have also been summoned to Monday’s meeting with the suggestion they may be asked if they can screen all matches live in the event of a complete fan-ban being ordered.

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