Saturday March 14 2020
Ancelotti: 'Everton not self-isolating'

Carlo Ancelotti reveals Everton are “not really self-isolating at all” after one of their players developed Coronavirus symptoms and it was “about time” the Premier League was suspended.

The Premier League was finally forced into suspending its fixture list this weekend, but only after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and several players in different clubs either tested positive for Coronavirus or showed symptoms of the illness.

A statement from the club said that “one member of the Everton first-team squad reported a high temperature and is now undertaking a period of self-isolation for seven days. In line with the Government guidelines, no other players are self-isolating at this stage, but the Club’s USM training facility has been closed as a precaution and staff, including players, have been advised to stay away from all Club sites until further notice.”

Ancelotti, the only Italian coach in the Premier League right now, explains the situation.

“We’re not really self-isolating at all, but some prevention measures did come in after a player had a fever, but his temperature has dropped now and that’s the most important thing,” the former Napoli coach told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The Premier League did stop eventually, and it’s about time. It was the right decision faced with the scenario. We couldn’t continue. Health is the most important thing for everyone: teams, fans, media, everyone who works in football.

“In theory, we ought to get back to work on March 22, but if the situation in general should worsen, how can we even think of that? If the Coronavirus is still spreading rapidly, football cannot resume.”

There are debates about how the Premier League should be decided if there can be no more games this season, with some even calling for the whole campaign to be null and void.

“To be perfectly honest, I am not interested,” added Ancelotti. “Football counts for zero right now and it almost irritates me to be talking about it, faced with the tragedy that is unfolding in front of our eyes. This is a pandemic, a situation none of us had experienced before now.

“The number of deaths in Italy (1,266) is terrible. In one day, another 250 people died. The priority is to concentrate on this fight, the rest doesn’t matter.”

The first case in Italy was three weeks ago, but in Britain they are only at the start of this wave.

“Italy were forced to understand that it was time to stop being superficial, they had to respect the orders and stay home, to respect themselves and others during this war,” continued Ancelotti.

“I watched Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech on TV and it seems to be someone here hasn’t realised the gravity of the situation. Life continues as normal, to a certain degree.”

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