Mandate wearing of masks to keep stadiums open, urges Pep Guardiola

[26-12-2021 01:02 PM]

Ammon News - Pep Guardiola believes masks should be mandatory in every public space to help ensure games will not have to be played in closed stadiums again due to the surge in Covid cases.

Manchester City’s manager is concerned that because masks have to be used only in designated indoor environments this may not be enough to prevent football having to lock out fans once more. The champions are due to host Leicester City on Boxing Day, but Liverpool v Leeds and Wolves v Watford have been postponed because of the virus.

Facing the prospect of football being played behind closed doors Guardiola said: “I would not love it, honestly. You cannot imagine how different it is playing with people. But cases rise all around the world, not only in the UK, and in the football bubbles. These people go to the stadiums and can contaminate [others because] in the stadiums, people don’t use masks.

“It’s what I’m surprised about the most – you go to the street, big malls, places to buy presents for the family, no one wears a mask. The scientists from the beginning say the most protection you can have is via hand sanitisers and [face masks].

“In Spain now it will be an obligation not just in [some] places but outdoors. So on the street you have to wear it. We should start again – you know [fans at matches should be] vaccinated, have a booster if this is what is decided, but as part of that, hand sanitiser, social distance and masks too. Like this, the restaurants could still be open, football could go on. We have to try to do it, otherwise, you know, another [ban] may be coming. [And] it [may] be again and again.”

Guardiola says that Ederson, along with City’s other South American players, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus, suffer when returning to the club after the international break. “There was a period this season when Eddy came back from previous internationals with Brazil and was a bit low, a bit sad, and sometimes that happens in a season,” he said. “But over the last two or three weeks in his training sessions I feel this is the best Eddy we have had.

“Sometimes you have no specific reason for it, but it’s especially the case for players from Argentina, Brazil, all the South Americans. They go there and, because of the pandemic, play three games, whereas before it was two. They travel from here to Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, to other places, take the plane, come back here, have jet lag, come back to totally different conditions.

“They are human beings. They have this change of lifestyle in such a short time. So it happened with Eddy, but it has with Fernandinho when he was in the national team before, with Gabby [Jesus], with Sergio [Agüero] when he was here, Pablo Zabaleta, Nicolás Otamendi.”


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