Coronavirus: Players should not be tested ahead of key workers, says Lampard

Testing is the key to a Premier League return, but Frank Lampard insists players and coaching staff cannot jump the queue.

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard hailed the efforts of the NHS workers in the fight against coronavirus.   -  Getty Images

Frank Lampard admitted "it would not sit well" if Premier League players were tested ahead of key workers who are serving on the front line during the coronavirus pandemic.

After a meeting of its stakeholders on Friday, the Premier League issued a statement to reaffirm its commitment to completing the 2019-20 season, though only when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Media reports have suggested plans are tentatively in place for a resumption in the middle of June, almost certainly at neutral venues, with the United Kingdom government involved in what has been called 'Project Restart'.

Players, coaches and club staff would require testing before top-flight fixtures can be staged again, however, and Chelsea boss Lampard insists such measures should not be done at the expense of NHS employees or careworkers.

"The idea of the health and safety of the players is huge," Lampard told BT Sport.

"The country has practiced social distancing so well and the fact we play this contact sport that we are so desperate to see for a form of escapism, if anything, so how are we not going to put the players at risk within that?

READ: West Ham’s Brady: Every team wants Premier League season to restart

"The other issue is talking about the testing that we are going to be doing.

"We probably have 70 or 80 staff at Cobham, minimum, if we are going to restart training. If we're going to test regularly, then that's fine.

"But when when we're looking around the world - and I don't know the testing numbers for the NHS and careworkers, these people that are doing incredible roles over the last two months or so - I don't think it would sit well, not just with me but with anybody, if we didn't make sure the people that are getting tested are on that front line.

"That's important for football to take its place.

"After that, we probably have the football issues, which would be neutral venues and out of contract players, of which we have a couple of major players, so there are many conversations and I think that's very clear at the minute."

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