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Chelsea players' health and safety at risk

Thomas Tuchel has criticised the Premier League for putting Chelsea at "huge risk" by forcing the coronavirus-hit Blues to play Sunday's top-flight clash at W...
Thomas Tuchel has criticised the Premier League for putting Chelsea at "huge risk" by forcing the coronavirus-hit Blues to play Sunday's top-flight clash at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Chelsea were missing seven players through positive COVID-19 tests and opted not to risk Jorginho at Molineux after inconclusive results for the Italy midfielder. The Blues had their request for a postponement rejected, and could only field 14 outfield players in their match squad with N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Trevoh Chalobah also struggling for match fitness. Six of the weekend's top-flight fixtures had already been called off due to outbreaks at various clubs but the Blues' game went ahead as scheduled. "We were put in a huge risk of health and safety to the players, not just because of COVID but also physically," Tuchel said. "I'm not sure if I'll catch COVID. Hopefully I will not catch it. "We put Kova into a Premier League match on the second day after a COVID infection... in the toughest league in the world, OK." A frustrated Tuchel has no idea what will happen with Chelsea's fixtures against Brentford and Aston Villa next week - two sides that have had games postponed recently. Asked if Chelsea could close their Cobham training ground to try to limit infections, Tuchel said: "How can we close the training ground when we are allowed to keep playing?" After a difficult week, the protocols surrounding postponements in cases of coronavirus outbreaks are set to be discussed at a Premier League shareholders meeting on Monday. The issue of vaccination uptake among players is also expected to be discussed after the English Football League published figures this week stating 25 per cent of its players did not intend to get vaccinated. Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp urged players to get jabbed as others called for the season to be briefly halted as a "circuit breaker". "If everybody gets boosted and it is two weeks at home and we have no more cases then fine, let's go home and wait for that," he said. "But if we just stop it and don't do anything, then I don't see the benefit." Meanwhile, the NBA on Sunday postponed a total of five games involving nine teams in response to rising coronavirus numbers, raising the number of contests that have been pushed back this season to seven. The postponements came on the same day that Atlanta announced star guard Trae Young entered the league's health and safety protocols and the Los Angeles Lakers said coach Frank Vogel also was added to the list. At least 68 players have either been ruled out to play -- or in the case of the postponed games, would have been ruled out -- because they are in the protocols with that number soaring in recent days. with AP Australian Associated Press

Thomas Tuchel has criticised the Premier League for putting Chelsea at "huge risk" by forcing the coronavirus-hit Blues to play Sunday's top-flight clash at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Chelsea were missing seven players through positive COVID-19 tests and opted not to risk Jorginho at Molineux after inconclusive results for the Italy midfielder.

The Blues had their request for a postponement rejected, and could only field 14 outfield players in their match squad with N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Trevoh Chalobah also struggling for match fitness.

Six of the weekend's top-flight fixtures had already been called off due to outbreaks at various clubs but the Blues' game went ahead as scheduled.

"We were put in a huge risk of health and safety to the players, not just because of COVID but also physically," Tuchel said.

"I'm not sure if I'll catch COVID. Hopefully I will not catch it.

"We put Kova into a Premier League match on the second day after a COVID infection... in the toughest league in the world, OK."

A frustrated Tuchel has no idea what will happen with Chelsea's fixtures against Brentford and Aston Villa next week - two sides that have had games postponed recently.

Asked if Chelsea could close their Cobham training ground to try to limit infections, Tuchel said: "How can we close the training ground when we are allowed to keep playing?"

After a difficult week, the protocols surrounding postponements in cases of coronavirus outbreaks are set to be discussed at a Premier League shareholders meeting on Monday.

The issue of vaccination uptake among players is also expected to be discussed after the English Football League published figures this week stating 25 per cent of its players did not intend to get vaccinated.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp urged players to get jabbed as others called for the season to be briefly halted as a "circuit breaker".

"If everybody gets boosted and it is two weeks at home and we have no more cases then fine, let's go home and wait for that," he said.

"But if we just stop it and don't do anything, then I don't see the benefit."

Meanwhile, the NBA on Sunday postponed a total of five games involving nine teams in response to rising coronavirus numbers, raising the number of contests that have been pushed back this season to seven.

The postponements came on the same day that Atlanta announced star guard Trae Young entered the league's health and safety protocols and the Los Angeles Lakers said coach Frank Vogel also was added to the list.

At least 68 players have either been ruled out to play -- or in the case of the postponed games, would have been ruled out -- because they are in the protocols with that number soaring in recent days.

Australian Associated Press

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