Chelsea have reported fresh positive Covid-19 cases ahead of Sunday’s clash with Manchester City – but Frank Lampard confirmed there have been no new ones involving players.
Man City’s game with Everton had to be postponed this week after surge of cases at the Manchester club, prompting Lampard to seek safety assurances before Pep Guardiola’s side – who will be without five players due to positive test results – head to Stamford Bridge.
The Chelsea manager has now raised questions over the continuation of the Premier League as the UK contends with rapidly rising numbers of coronavirus and stricter measures imposed across the country.
Lampard said: “I haven’t been given the chances of the game being postponed. I’m just aware of the situation and at the moment the game is on.
“We know that Manchester City had some positives within their training ground. We’ve had a couple ourselves, but not on the playing staff. That’s the current situation.”
Asked whether it was important that football continues for the morale of the nation, Lampard said: “I am not sure about that one. I understand it. I certainly love football and if you love football you love watching lots of games at home.
“I think safety has to be paramount. When you look at our squad, I think the fact I said we have a couple of staff who have tested positive means that they are people who are working within our bubble who have babies, parents, friends, grandparents, who they see when they come home from work.
“We are in an environment with Covid more contagious than we previously thought it was. I think safety is paramount as opposed to keeping the nation’s spirits up.
“I know it is not the nice thing to say, but these are tough times for everyone and we enjoy watching our football but health and safety has to come first.”
Lampard added: “I have to say the Premier League and clubs themselves have done everything to make the environment as safe as possible. As we are finding, that’s not always easy to do when people are going home and leaving the building with the numbers going up. Particularly in London, where we are at.
“I think the football authorities, Premier League, government and everybody has to be clear that it would be beneficial to stop and do a ‘circuit breaker’ or something. That’s something I don’t know about. If you are told to stop, you stop.”