West Brom boss Sam Allardyce has criticized government interference in football after admitting that fear of catching Covid-19 had ‘numbed’ the enjoyment of his return to the Premier League.
There are growing concerns among parliamentarians that footballers are breaking coronavirus protocols by hugging and kissing to celebrate goals during the last lockdown in England.
The Football Federation, the Premier League and the English Football League issued a joint statement on Thursday reaffirming the importance of monitoring the newly improved Covid-19 measures.
“We all want to keep playing football, and if we all play by the rules and regulations a little better than we already have, we will,” Allardyce said.
“But I’m a little pissed off by the players accused of being irresponsible. Why the government wants to intervene is absolute nonsense with the mess it is making at the moment.”
“Their attention has not been the greatest and it is irresponsible that the government wants to intervene in football, they have to look at their own house before looking at ours.
“We are tested two or three times a week, (we have) sterilizers, masks and independent monitors on the training ground to make sure we are not doing this or that.
“I can’t have more than 10 meetings in a room, so why do they think we make mistakes? Just because we’re celebrating scoring a goal. Come on, that’s not good.”
Allardyce, 66, took charge of top wrestlers last month before the new variant of the coronavirus hit the UK.
Allardyce called for a “blackout” at the end of December after the Premier League returned its highest number of positive coronavirus tests.
“I enjoy it to a point,” Allardyce said of his return to management. “When I came back I had no concerns about the safety of football as the number of protocols was in place and the safety of the environment.
“But that was before the variant of the virus hit this country and started to spread like wildfire. It numbed my pleasure in trying to help the club out of their problem because of my afraid of catching Covid.
“Or even worse to pass it on to my wife, that would be my biggest fear. I still have my enthusiasm, but deep inside I’m washing my hands, wearing my mask, telling guys to keep going as socially distant as possible.
“But until I get the vaccine, I have to make sure I stay super-safe.”
Scotland international Robert Snodgrass joined the Baggies relegation battle in a free transfer from West Ham last week.
But Allardyce admits he was frustrated with attempts to recruit more players, saying: “We had three yeas that turned into no. We were told players could be loaned out, only to find they could not be purchased.
“It’s usually an inducement from a club in Europe trying to get you to suck and think you’ll go through with it. But in our situation, we can’t do that. A simple purchase isn’t the solution. for us at the moment. “
The winter transfer window is open until Monday February 1 at 11 p.m.
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