Farke’s fear over football’s response to pandemic

Daniel Farke wants a rethink when it comes to the demands on his Norwich City players Picture: Paul

Daniel Farke wants a rethink when it comes to the demands on his Norwich City players Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke fears football is ‘heading in the wrong direction’ as England enters a second lockdown to deal with escalating numbers of coronavirus cases.

Norwich City’s Championship season will continue either side of the upcoming international break, with supporters still unable to attend games due to measures in place around social interaction in the current pandemic.

Farke accepts he is in a privileged position, along with his Canaries’ squad, but believes the health of the players and the quality of the product at the elite end of the game could suffer in the longer term.

“It is difficult to take the right decisions if I am honest,” he said.

“I am struggling to complain about our situation because we are allowed to work and we know what we do is a privilege.

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“For the club it is difficult in terms of no supporters and the financial impact of that and we have to go further on.

“But if I am really honest we have to be careful we are not heading into the wrong direction in football.

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“We are pretty strict in our processes and protocols and our training ground is probably one of the safest spaces you can go.

“But some of the decisions around us as a club, when it comes to playing games, in terms of the safety and health of the players and the quality of the football, I am not sure it is the right direction.”

Farke feels if professional football is to continue in England some of the measures adopted during the ‘Project Restart’ era last season must return.

“After the first lockdown we had breaks during games for recovery, we had five substitutes, bigger game day squads with 20 players. It is hard to understand why we don’t do this now,” he said. “All across Europe they allow 20 players in the game day squad. We said, ‘No we stay with 18. We stay with three subs.’

“We are probably at an advantage, because we are very good in terms of the fitness levels of our players, but I would rather speak about this topic when we are successful and we are the form team in this league.

“I think I am allowed to speak now and highlight the safety and quality and health of the game.

“I understand we have to take some difficult decisions but I am really not sure in some areas.”

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