Leeds: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has expressed concerns regarding the surge in coronavirus cases in the UK and said “if we have to stop, we are going to stop.”
The manager’s remarks came as the UK is set to impose a new lockdown, starting from Thursday till December 2, in order to curb the spread of the virus. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said that the lockdown will not impact the Premier League.
“I can say yes to the Premier League, I think, with authority,” Goal.com had quoted Johnson as saying.
Guardiola stressed that the world of football cannot be an exception.
“It’s difficult. I know the prime minister is taking the decision because the situation is getting worse. It happened in Spain, Germany, and France. Everywhere. So the virus is still there. Maybe people say it is stronger. I think the world of football cannot be an exception in what is happening in society,” Goal.com quoted Guardiola as saying.
“So if we have to play, we will play. But we don’t want to be different from the rest of society when they have to close restaurants or close whatever. It’s a position in which I am not involved. I want to be safe. I want to keep well for myself, for my family, my friends, for all
England, all of the UK. But honestly, I don’t know,” he added.
Guardiola said if they are to continue with the sport, they have to take “maximum consciousness” of the danger posed by the coronavirus pandemic and not take it as a “joke”.
“It’s not a joke. It’s serious. If he says stay at home, you have to stay at home. If he says don’t do this, we don’t do it. Because it’s not fair for half of the population doing what we have to do and the prime minister says this, and the rest of the people do whatever they want,” Guardiola said.
“So we have to be conscious – the reality is tough, it’s difficult. If we have to stop, we are going to stop. If we have to play, because they decide it’s good for society or for I don’t know, just be alert, be careful, take maximum consciousness of the dangers of the situation in which we are living,” he added.