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Premier League players should have right to refuse to return: Sordell

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v Aston Villa - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - February 22, 2020 General view of match balls on the pitch before the match Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

(Reuters) - The Premier League has to consider the personal situation of all players and understand their right to refuse a return to action when the season stalled by the novel coronavirus resumes, former Watford forward Marvin Sordell has said.

Professional soccer has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus, which has infected more than 186,000 people in Britain, killing more than 28,000.

The 20 Premier League clubs held a conference call last week in which they looked at plans for a resumption of training this month but deferred making a decision on resuming the season until the government gave the go-ahead.

Sordell said some players could still have reservations.

“Some people will be living on their own and won’t have any responsibilities in that sense, or those fears they may pass the virus onto somebody else if they contracted it themselves,” Sordell, who retired last summer, told the Press Association.

“And that’s fine, they’ll be eager to play and they don’t have to worry about certain things. There will be other players who live with their parents, or they are their parents’ only means of being able to get food.

“Their partners might be pregnant or they might have young kids, and some might have underlying health conditions. Some players themselves might have underlying health conditions.

“I think all of those accounts need to be taken in, because you don’t need a situation where you’re forcing people to go back or they’re refusing to do things.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru