Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand maintains that the best way for the Premier League to deal with the coronavirus pandemic is to void the season.
As things stand, the Football Association, Premier League, EFL and Women’s Super League are scheduled to resume their respective competitions on April 30 after all were stalled by the coronavirus outbreak.
That date will almost certainly be moved back for the third time when those bodies hold a meeting next week, with an actual time-frame for return likely to be much further away.
Ferdinand insisted on Tuesday that the Premier League should void the current season over the safety of supporters, leading to a backlash from some Liverpool fans who disagreed – but Ferdinand stands by his comments.
Ferdinand told BT Sport: “Times like these do absolutely push it home as to how important sport, the contact and communication, is when you’re in times like this, when you’re isolated and alone with just your immediate family.
“But I think we have to take into consideration – and it hits home again – that football is just a game. As seriously as we all took it, and take it still, it boils down to the fact that it is just a game.
“And the bigger picture is what is going on out in society and that’s why I was very clear and very sure in my own mind that, if there’s not going to be an immediate fix in the next few weeks, then I think the season just needs to be voided and start again next season afresh.
“A lot of people like Liverpool fans will always say, ‘Oh that’s because you don’t want Liverpool to win the league’.
“Listen, if my team was in that situation I would think about people’s health and the wider society rather than my own gain.
“And this is a situation where I think exactly the same no matter who’s going to go up, who’s potentially going to go down, who could have won the league and who could have finished in the Champions League positions.
“I think across the board, it’s much more clearer, black and white, and just void the season and start again afresh. And there are going to be people disappointed, and there are going to be people that are probably more satisfied with that.
“But whichever way you go you’re going to be disappointing people and there’s going to be people that are more happy with the situation when you do it. So not everyone can win in this situation and that’s just a fact.”
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