‘We are watching the news. It is very serious’ - City ace Tettey on coronavirus threat

Norwich City midfielder Alex Tettey has spoken about the potential impact of the coronavirus on foot

Norwich City midfielder Alex Tettey has spoken about the potential impact of the coronavirus on football Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City midfielder Alex Tettey understands why there is talk of playing games in empty stadiums to minimise the risk of coronavirus.

The Premier League have announced the pre-match handshakes between players and officials will not take place until further notice, because of fears of the spread, as part of a government call to step up 'contingency planning'.

The Italian authorities have already announced all sport will take place behind closed doors until April 3 in an effort to contain the deadly virus.

That includes Serie A matches, while England's scheduled men's and women's Six Nations rugby trips to Italy have also been postponed.

As yet, the English league has not followed suit, but Tettey, speaking to Norwegian newspaper VG, made it clear Norwich City's squad is well aware of the situation - including the potential to play behind closed doors.

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"We are watching the news. It is very serious. You can get sick, you can recover, but those who do not can lose their lives. This is something we have to take incredibly seriously," he said, with Norwich City travelling to Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday. "There is no problem (if games are played in front of empty stands).

"It is the fans who pay to watch matches, and we want fans, but if we have to play matches without fans, then we have to, because we do not want lives to be lost."

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Tettey has not played in Norway since 2009 but is urging the authorities in his homeland to take all necessary measures.

"Don't start pretending that in Norway you should not panic. I read recently that someone who had it went out to do something, and you shouldn't do that when you are in quarantine," he said.

"I hope they take it very seriously, because it is a virus that takes life, and things that take life, one must always take seriously. It is my personal prayer to Norway that they take it seriously."

Tettey was left out of the starting line up for the midweek FA Cup win at Tottenham with what Daniel Farke said was a cold, along with Teemu Pukki. But the City boss reiterated his squad have the best advice possible from the relevant medical and sports science teams.

"We trust our medical team. They inform the players nearly every day.

"Of course you have to be careful around something like this," he said, speaking on Tuesday. "We are quite relaxed but we know what to do and how to prepare ourselves. We trust our specialists and we feel we are in good hands."

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