'Why would I put myself at risk': Football star refuses to train to protect young family

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Troy Deeney (pictured left) and his family (pictured right).
Troy Deeney is refusing to go to training until he has better assurances it will be coronavirus free in fear of risking the health of his family (pictured right). (Getty Images/Instagram)

Watford striker Troy Deeney has claimed he is one of many Premier League stars concerned about a return to training while the coronavirus pandemic grips England.

Government officials are hopeful that the league might be able to resume in the middle of June, although admissions have been made that not everything is in place to allow that to happen at the current time.

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Meanwhile, clubs are expected to pass a motion on Monday to allow Premier League sides to step up training sessions with a view to a return to action as soon as possible.

But speaking to boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, Deeney said he would not be returning to training unless he was given more assurances.

"We’re due back in this week. I’ve said I’m not going,” he said on the Talk the Talk show.

“I can’t get a haircut until mid-July but I can go and get in a box with 19 people and jump for a header? I don’t know how that works. No one could answer the questions – not because they didn’t want to, because they didn’t have the information.”

Deeney fears putting young family at risk

Deeney went on to claim his five month old son struggles from breathing issues and there was no way he was putting him at risk.

"It only takes one person to get infected. I don’t want to bring that home, my son is five months old and he’s had breathing difficulties," he added.

"I don’t want to come home and put him in more danger. You’ve got to drive back in the same dirty kit – if I’m putting my clothing in with my son’s clothing or my missus’ clothing it’s more likely to be in and around the house.

"I’ve lost my dad, my gran, my grandad…I’ve lost more or less everyone that I care about. So that, to me, is more important than a few quid in my back pocket."

He also claimed on ITV other players shared his concerns.

“Simple things like that are where people are asking questions and it's not being answered. When people can't answer the questions, you start to panic and start to worry,” he said.

“I saw Tammy Abraham say his dad has asthma and he lives with him so he has concerns. It's not just players at the bottom who are trying to stay in the league. There are concerns right across the board. I have had a lot of texts from players who are worried about coming out and speaking.”

Watford confirm Covid-19 cases

Following Deeney’s interview, on Tuesday, the Premier League confirmed that there were six positive Covid-19 results returned from a total of ​748 tests administered to players and club staff on Sunday and Monday.

The league confirmed that the positive tests came from three different clubs, with one of the positive tests revealed to be Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan, who the club says is "asymptomatic and is currently safe and well at home."

Then, on Tuesday night, Watford confirmed that one player and two staff members have tested positive and will begin a period of self-isolation.

Troy Deeney of Watford said he won't return to training until he has more assurances it is safe from the coronavirus pandemic. (Getty Images)
Troy Deeney of Watford said he won't return to training until he has more assurances it is safe from the coronavirus pandemic. (Getty Images)

"Watford Football Club confirms that three people have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus following testing at the training ground over the past 48 hours," the club said in a statement.

"Of those three positive tests, one is a player and two are members of staff. All three have asked that medical confidentiality be respected and, therefore, the club will not be naming those involved.

"All three will now self-isolate for seven days - in line with the protocols set out in Premier League guidelines - before being tested again at a later date.

"Strict adherence to the Premier League guidelines has ensured the training ground remains virus-free and a safe environment for the players to continue to work. The club will continue to liaise closely with the affected personnel and there will be no further comment."

With Goal.com