‘We can play football when everyone has moved on from this virus’ - City old boy backs shutdown call

PUBLISHED: 15:29 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:30 16 March 2020

Carrow Road has sat empty since February 29 due to the coronavirus shutdown Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire

Carrow Road has sat empty since February 29 due to the coronavirus shutdown Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire

PA Wire

Former Norwich City midfielder Steven Naismith insists football must do everything it can to help society deal with the risk from coronavirus.

The Hearts’ captain believes the British game was right to call a halt, with the Scottish authorities joining their counterparts in England on Friday in suspending the league season north of the border ‘until further notice’.

Naismith rejects any notion games could have continued behind closed doors, given the spread of the deadly virus.

“Football is about the fans. To compromise on any health issues or to think about games behind closed doors goes against why we love this game,” he said, speaking to PA. “Now everyone can work out what is the best way moving forward. What is the best structure in order to play the games, not just domestically but international football and every competition out there.

“Hearts as a club will follow the guidelines and be ready for whenever the games return. Discussions will have been going on for days. Now we have to follow a process. Britain in general has been the last ones to make that call. The biggest thing here is health and safety. That is paramount here.

“The main thing is the country gets over this virus. When we get through this and we look back we will able to see that we took the right decision and the safest decision.

“The spread of this virus has been so quick it was inevitable there would be a shutdown.

“When it is on your doorstep and this virus is deadly it puts things in clearer perspective. We can play football when everyone has moved on from this virus.”

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