Sport

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira says returning to empty pitch would be ‘disaster’ for football

Coach Crystal Palace Patrick Vieira has admitted it would be a “disaster” for football to return to play behind closed doors.

Eagles canceled their Christmas party due to the escalating coronavirus situation in the country, with the UK Goverment on Wednesday, implement a ‘Plan B’ in the UK to deal with the spread of the Omicron variant.

While there is no hint that the sport will return to competition without supporters anytime soon – as when football returns after its first lockdown in 2020 – it is clear to Vieira that he will not enjoy the tournaments. The match took place on an empty field again.

“This is the worst case scenario,” Vieira replied when asked about the possibility of the sport returning behind closed doors.

“In my opinion, playing games without fans is a disaster.

“It’s something very difficult to handle and I hope we don’t get there because what the games need is to have fans in the stadium.”

Vieira revealed he was injected twice before Sunday’s game at home to Everton and reflect on the worrying situation in the Premier League regarding the virus.

Tottenham have been forced to cancel matches, while other clubs have no players due to a positive Covid-19 case.

That’s part of the reason behind Palace halting plans to host a Christmas party this year.

“This is part of the culture of this country, this Christmas party that the players are doing,” explained Vieira.

“We did it a few years ago and this is what the players love to do, but obviously given the situation, we and the players have decided to cancel the Christmas party and this is the right thing to do. .”

The Government’s ‘Plan B’ measures mean proof of vaccination or a negative side-flow test will be required of spectators attending UK sporting events with larger crowds 10,000 people.

But Vieira added: “There are some experts who will have to say whether or not vaccinations are mandatory or these (NHS) cards you need to enter the stadium.

“The only thing I can tell you is, myself, I’ve had the double vaccine and I really believe we need to get that vaccine, but everyone has to make their own decisions on their side. there.”

Returning to the football issue, the Palace boss pays tribute to the opposite number Rafael Benitez before Sunday’s meeting between the couple at Selhurst Park.

The Everton boss has been under pressure but has allayed growing discontent with a 2-1 win over Arsenal on Monday.

Vieira knows what to expect from the Spaniard and says Benitez only plays a certain brand of football.

“One thing is clear that any team he manages, especially Liverpool, is going to be tough and tough because those teams are well organised,” he noted.

“But I think we have to be really careful thinking that some managers are defensive or offensive.

“Sometimes you have to deal with the level and quality of the players you have versus who you’re going to play against.

“Of course, sometimes we want to go on the pitch as Crystal Palace, have superior possession and do well, but sometimes we just can’t. We can’t do it because the (opposition) team is better or doing better than us, so we can’t do what we want.

“I watched Arsenal’s game and I didn’t see Everton just defending or trying to stop Arsenal. Reputation isn’t right sometimes, and I don’t want to judge a person by reputation alone.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/crystal-palace-patrick-vieira-covid-omicron-b1974391.html Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira says returning to empty pitch would be ‘disaster’ for football

JACLYN DIAZ

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