Last week, Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi became the first Premier League to be officially diagnosed with COVID-19, the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic that’s currently sweeping across he world. The club’s immediate response was to isolate Callum as well as the rest of the team, as per commonly accepted guidelines in dealing with this virus.
Combined with events around the country and Europe, including at Arsenal where head coach Mikel Arteta also tested positive, the Premier League eventually made the decision to suspend the season until at least April 4, mirroring the response in almost all other professional football or other sports leagues.
But while whether Chelsea will be able to actually resume playing in a month remains far from certain, the training ground itself will likely reopen this coming week already. That’s the word from club coach Christophe Lollichon, who talked through the details of last week’s events for the program ‘Late Football Club’ on Canal+ in France.
“Things started a little bit earlier (in the week), because there was a suspicion, there was an employee who was working at the training centre, who had symptoms that came quite close to that of coronavirus. When I arrived on Thursday morning, I was quickly told to head back home. We weren’t allowed to go to the training centre, training was cancelled as well.
“Tomorrow (Saturday), in theory, those due to be at the training centre to work, should be allowed to be there. The training centre has been completely disinfected…
“We don’t have the training schedule yet. There will be nothing this weekend, then decisions will be made at the beginning of next week, to know what planning will be put in place for training. No decision has been made yet.”
-Christophe Lollichon; source: Canal+ via GFFN
With the first-team in isolation for at least a few more days following the Hudson-Odoi case — from which the young winger has already recovered — training activities probably won’t resume for a while even if the season can resume on April 4.
Let’s not get too bored!