Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says Premier League should only return when ‘safe for players’ as fearful Kante stays away – The Sun


FRANK LAMPARD insisted the Premier League should only return when it is “safe for players” as N’Golo Kante stays clear of training.

The top flight was suspended on March 13 after Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi both tested positive for coronavirus.

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 Frank Lampard is determined for the Premier League not to restart until it is safe


Frank Lampard is determined for the Premier League not to restart until it is safeCredit: Getty Images – Getty

And although clubs voted in favour of a return to Phase One of training this week and Project Restart are aiming at matches to get back underway on June 12, Lampard is still well aware of the dangers.

But he, like the other top-flight managers, wants to see the season completed but acknowledges it will have to be behind closed door.

Speaking to Football Focus on the BBC, Lampard said: “All of us here we want to do it, it’s our job, we are very fortunate to have this job, to play football, and we want to finish it.

“The feeling that you might be involved in a relegation battle or towards the top of the league, I think that is probably… we all felt that when we finished, we were so into it.

“But we have seen munch more important things in the country and the world than football happen and I think that has been a bit of a reset for all of us.

“What remains is we want to play football and what remains of this season, but as you say the most important thing is when it is safe and healthy for players and staff.

“Fans won’t be coming but will it change things for society with the police and the NHS? All these things need to come together and hopefully we can get our game back.”

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Lampard took charge of training this week as his squad were allowed in groups of five while still social distancing.

The Chelsea boss added: “It’s been really good to get some work into the players.

“It mean it is individual work, we can’t quite get enough hands on around them because we have to toe the line but it is about seeing how things go.

“Safety has to come first. Once we get over Phase One, see what Phase Two looks like and beyond that, then we can think about getting the games back, albeit behind-closed-doors.”

But although Kante was involved on Wednesday, sporting a new hairstyle, he was granted compassionate leave over his fears surrounding Covid-19.

The midfielder will be allowed to miss the rest of the season should he continue to feel uncomfortable.

Kante suffered a health scare two years ago when he fainted in front of his team-mates at Chelsea’s training ground.

Tests showed no heart issues and he has since gone on to enjoy a hugely successful career – winning the World Cup just a few months later in Russia.

But his older brother Niama died of a heart attack and he lost his father when he was just 11 years old.

 NGolo Kante, left, returned to training on Wednesday sporting a new hairstyle


NGolo Kante, left, returned to training on Wednesday sporting a new hairstyleCredit: Getty Images – Getty
 The French midfielder has been granted compassionate leave due to his fears over coronavirus


The French midfielder has been granted compassionate leave due to his fears over coronavirusCredit: EPA
N’Golo Kante swaps Mini for Mercedes as he arrives at Chelsea training in stunning new car


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