Brighton striker Glenn Murray has described as “farcical” a proposal that Premier League players should wear face masks to combat the coronavirus when they return to training.
Premier League chiefs hope to restart the season in June and teams are reportedly expecting full training to resume in mid-May.
Several clubs, including Brighton, have opened their training facilities to players this week for individual sessions that follow social-distancing guidelines.
But players will need to come into closer contact with each other once they are preparing for matches and reports this week said the Premier League could ask them to wear protective masks during practice sessions.
“We have got to look at the Premier League as the global brand it is and the reason it is that big is because of the quality of the players that are in it,” Murray said.
“To be hindering ourselves with face masks is going to be off-putting, it is not going to be natural, people will be ripping them off in games. It is quite farcical.”
Murray is frustrated by the rush to return to action at a time when the French and Dutch campaigns have been abandoned.
While he would like to finish the Premier League season, the 36-year-old has concerns about doing it too soon.
“There will be ambulances at training and games. Is it fair to take those from the NHS (National Health Service)? I don’t know,” he said.
Murray is also unhappy that players could be put at risk.
“We are not talking about guys in one community, we are talking about guys from all over the world who could be possibly carrying the disease,” he said. “There are so many caveats.”
The possibility of playing the remaining games at neutral venues is likely to be presented to Premier League clubs at a meeting on Friday, but Murray does not agree with the idea.
“I am hoping that it doesn’t come that scenario,” he said. “That is far-fetched, to spend eight weeks away from your family is quite a big ask.”
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