‘This isn’t right’: Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson voices player welfare fears | Soccer

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is concerned that players’ welfare is not being taken seriously. The English Premier League announced, on Monday, its intention to continue the scheduled matches during the Christmas period, despite the presence of 90 confirmed cases of Corona virus among players and staff last week.

A shareholder meeting that included representatives from all 20 clubs reached a unanimous decision to continue, despite the suspension of six of the 10 matches last weekend due to the outbreak of the Covid disease.

“I don’t think people can appreciate how severe it is until you see it for yourself,” Henderson told BBC Sport. “Football for us is everything and we want to be able to perform at the highest level every time we set foot on the pitch. Unfortunately, in this period it is difficult to do so.

“It’s been like this for a few years now and it has been difficult but then, on top of that, I got rid of Covid and it got more difficult and even worse. I’m worried that no one is taking the player’s well-being seriously.

“I think decisions are being made – of course we want to play as players, we want to go out and play – but I’m concerned about the players’ welfare and I don’t think anyone is taking that seriously enough, especially in this period, when Covid is here.

“We’ll try to have background conversations and try to have some sort of influence going forward, but at the moment I don’t feel the players are getting the respect they deserve in terms of having someone who is able to speak on their behalf independently and having the strength to actually say that’s not appropriate. for the player’s welfare.

Liverpool were without a number of key players in last Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham, including Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara. Including that game, they have five matches in two weeks.

Liverpool assistant coach Pepin Leenders described the decision to continue the Premier League holiday schedule as “ridiculous” and warned that it would increase the risks to players’ health.

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