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Coronavirus: Ogbonna slams UK for 'unacceptable' handling of outbreak

  • The Premier League has belatedly postponed all fixtures but West Ham's Angelo Ogbonna feels the decision should have been made far sooner.
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Modified 14 Mar 2020, 21:26 IST
Angelo Ogbonna - cropped
West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna in action against Arsenal

Angelo Ogbonna has criticised English football's response to the coronavirus pandemic, insisting it is "unacceptable" West Ham's Premier League clash with Arsenal went ahead.

The Premier League announced on Friday all matches have been postponed until April 3 in wake of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta testing positive for the virus.

Arteta's diagnosis came a fortnight after Arsenal's Europa League tie with Olympiacos, whose owner Evangelos Marinakis attended the game and later revealed he had also contracted the respiratory disease.

Ogbonna played 90 minutes for West Ham in last Saturday's 1-0 loss at Emirates Stadium and is amazed the game was allowed to be staged, with many top leagues either playing games behind closed doors or halting matches completely.

"It's absolutely unacceptable that our game against Arsenal did go ahead," he told Corriere della Serra.

"They'd played Olympiacos and their owner had already been struck down with the virus. It almost seems as if someone needs to die in order for timely decisions to be made.

"It's not a footballing matter, but it's entrenched in the country's mentality.

"They haven't fully grasped the risk surrounding this virus, which can be spread in just a few seconds if you don't behave in the correct way.

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"I haven't been tested, which is further proof of the lax attitude here, to say the least."

Published 14 Mar 2020, 21:26 IST
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