NEWS
Saturday March 28 2020
Ogbonna: 'England laughed at Italy'

West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna has talked about life in quarantine in the UK and how England “laughed” at Italy, “underestimating a global issue.”

Ogbonna left Juventus and signed for the Irons in July 2015, going on to play 152 games since his €15m move to the Premier League.

He revealed his wife was expecting their second child, it was difficult to keep in shape living in an apartment in the English capital and that the country reacted late to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Initially there was scepticism, the emergency was handled superficially,” he told Tuttomercatoweb.

“I think there was also an intention to try to protect the country economically after Brexit.

“They underestimated a very serious, global issue. Initially they laughed at us [Italy], they thought we were exaggerating and exasperating the matter.

“I live in London, but I was immediately worried about us and my family in Italy. I have to tell you the truth, at least in London there was concern. Empty supermarkets, fewer people around. But London is not England.”

Football has also stopped in the UK, and the former Italy international admits concern has been growing after the positive test of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“We await future directions from the FA to understand what we will do. There are other priorities. Now that Johnson is positive for COVID-19 too, the concern has grown.

“We train from home. We have our guidelines, given by [coach David] Moyes and his staff. We keep the club informed daily.

“The problem is that we live in an apartment. For some players, the accommodation is still temporary and, for ad-hoc preparation, it will take time.

“It’s right to think that we will need a month to get back in shape. The problem, however, is that you have no way of training how you would like.”

The ex-Juve stopper added the situation was even worse for his partner, given she is expecting.

“It’s a particular situation. Living abroad makes it even more difficult, for us but also for our partners. We already have a son and we are waiting for the second in a month, and it’s hard for her.

“There’s no support from our parents, as on the occasion of the first child. There was an important and helping hand there, also in terms of presence. Here, we are limited.

“I do and we do everything possible, but it’s clear that you must give the same importance to the child who is there, as much as the one who is arriving, all in a quarantine situation. You also discover things that you took for granted in everyday life.”

Finally, he wanted to send a message to the Italian people, who are currently one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 in the world.

“I want to thank the doctors in Italy who are taking care of the people, the sick, the infected, those who take risks every day.

“My family are in Cassino, the situation is difficult everywhere, also there. My partner’s are in Turin, where we almost always stay every time we go back. They are in lockdown, it seems like a film.”

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