Former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney claims the British government and football authorities have treated players like “guinea pigs” during the coronavirus crisis.
While the rest of European football was shutting down due to the growing threat of the global pandemic, Wayne Rooney is angry it took several days for the Premier League and Football League to postpone their matches until Apr 3.
It was only when Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the virus on Friday that football’s UK governing bodies called a temporary halt to the season.
Rooney, currently playing for second tier Derby, felt they should have acted quicker and the former England captain said he would “never forgive” the authorities if his family fell ill as a result.
Many matches at non-league level were going ahead as scheduled in Britain this weekend and Rooney believes Prime Minister Boris Johnson “dodged” the issue by letting football make its own decision about playing on.
The 34-year-old claimed money was key to the authorities’ reluctance to cancel games.
“The rest of sport – tennis, Formula One, rugby, golf, football in other countries – was closing down and we were being told to carry on,” Rooney said.
“I think a lot of footballers were wondering, ‘Is it something to do with money being involved in this?'”
Once the virus is under control, Rooney wants a radical schedule shake-up which could see the current season being concluded as late as September, and the next two kicking off in winter-time as a result.
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