Coronavirus: Bolton boss Ian Evatt says it is 'morally wrong' for football to continue

Bolton Wanderers recently saw their match against Morecambe postponed due to an outbreak of coronavirus at the Shrimps
Bolton Wanderers recently saw their match against Morecambe postponed due to an outbreak of coronavirus at the Shrimps

Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt says it is "morally wrong" for football to continue while Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are in place.

The UK passed 80,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic over the weekend.

Despite rising numbers of cases and postponements, elite men's and women's football has continued in England.

"The game is teetering financially due to the pandemic so that will factor in whether we continue," he said.

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, Evatt continued: "Football players, staff, and the club's workforce could be related to someone that is at risk.

"When they come into work every day with that on their mind it isn't easy for them but for now it just feels slightly morally wrong that we're continuing as normal when the rest of the UK is where it is."

Some elite sports within the UK have been able to continue under strict protocols established in the summer, however as cases have risen, fixture postponements have followed with more than 60 games in England being called off so far this season.

Earlier on Monday, Scottish football below Championship level was suspended for three weeks due to the rise in cases.

Rochdale chief executive David Bottomley said last week that it was "inevitable" that the English Football League would have to temporarily suspend fixtures shortly before Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a further national lockdown.

Since then, testing has been implemented by the league, with Dale manager Brian Barry-Murphy telling BBC Radio Manchester that this has helped with doubts within his squad.

"Since the EFL announced we're going to be tested twice a week, I've seen a huge turnaround in terms of the players' anxieties being reduced," he said prior to their draw against Crewe on Saturday.

"We are getting the same treatment as the Premier League players now and the players themselves are happy to continue which is very reassuring.

"This has made everyone feel at ease and it makes it very clear for us that we can carry on and are much safer now."

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