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Footballers should take pay cut in coronavirus outbreak - UK minister

Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks at a digital COVID-19 news conference at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain April 2, 2020. Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Premier League football players should take a pay cut to play their part in Britain’s fight against coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday.

“I think everybody needs to play their part in this national effort and that means Premier League footballers too,” Hancock said when asked if it was fair that some star players were receiving their full pay while non-playing staff were furloughed.

“Given the sacrifices that many people are making including some of my colleagues in the NHS (National Health Service) who have made the ultimate sacrifice of going into work and have caught the disease and have sadly died, I think the first thing that Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part,” he said.

Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft, editing by Estelle Shirbon