Monday March 16 2020
Zola: 'Other priorities need to be defended'

Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola says “other priorities need to be defended” in relation to England’s attitude towards the Coronavirus.

The Sardinian gave a lengthy interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport on the Coronavirus and the various issues surrounding the disease, which has brought sport, and Italy, to a standstill.

“The virus is a sneaky, dark evil. It can strike us even without realising it. The danger of contagion is real for anyone,” Zola told La Gazzetta.

“Now, it’s time for responsibility, both individually and collectively. Still, it seems to me that they are undestimating the situation around here [in England].

“It’s not about creating fear, but we are dealing with a pandemic. Here in London I see pubs, restaurants and shops open. The squares and the streets are crowded and everything seems normal.

“Instead, in Italy we are experiencing one of the most difficult passages of time since the post-war period.”

Zola then commented on the situation in his home country.

“We need patience. In Italy I read and I see that they are doing good things and in the correct time. But the Premier League only closed a couple of days ago, and for the Liverpool-Atletico Madrid game in the Champions League there was 70,000 supporters.

“There are now other priorities to defend. I read the news on websites and I see that in the north [of Italy] that the situation is very serious. Appropriate evaluations will have to be made.”

Euro 2020 looks increasingly likely to be postponed, with leagues eager to finish their seasons once the pandemic subsides.

“It’s complicated to make plans. Given what scientists say about incubation and the spread of the virus, it’s difficult to keep the tournament for the original date.

“Roberto Mancini has time and has a great group that’s searching for the trophy. I met with Gianluca Vialli recently in London, and we were supposed to meet up again ahead of the friendly between England and Italy.

“This Italy are motivated, have clear ideas and they bet on youngsters, which will be rewarded.”

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