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'It almost felt like footballe...
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'It almost felt like footballers were the guinea pigs' | Wayne Rooney

Ben Finnegan
Ben Finnegan

12:35 15 Mar 2020

Wayne Rooney says it almost felt like footballers in England were being "treated like guinea pigs," when there were announcements that the Premier League and other footballing activity would continue despite other sports falling by the wayside.

The Premier League is due to hold another emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss what to do with the rest of the season.

There's speculation about whether the season will finish at all due to the COVID-19 outbreak - and there are currently no rules in place to determine whether a title would be awarded, or about European qualification, promotion, and relegation.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hodson Odoi have contracted the virus and a host of other teams are in self-isolation with the EFL and Premier League suspended until at least April 4th.

In a column with the Sunday Times, the Derby County captain said, "I think a lot of footballers were wondering, 'Is it something to do with money being involved in this?'. Why did we wait until Friday? Why did it take Mikel Arteta to get ill for the game in England to do the right thing?

"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.

"I know how I feel. If any of my family get infected through me because I've had to play when it's not safe, and they get seriously ill, I'd have to think hard about ever playing again. I would never forgive the authorities."

In a statement released by the Premier League earlier this week, Chief Executive Richard Masters said: "Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19.

"In this unprecedented situation, we are working closely with our clubs, Government, The FA and EFL and can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority."

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Callum Hudson-odoi Coronavirus Covid-19 Derby County Mikel Arteta Wayne Rooney

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