Bruce says it's morally wrong...


Bruce says it's morally wrong for football to go on as COVID rates spike

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Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce feels it's morally wrong for football to continue in the current climate. 

COVID-19 is sinking its teeth into the Premier League, with 40 positive cases confirmed between the last two rounds of testing.

Meanwhile, the EFL confirmed on Friday there have been 112 positive coronavirus test results returned from players and staff in the latest round of screening.

FA Cup 3rd round matches have been postponed due to coronavirus outbreaks, while teams like Aston Villa are being forced to field youth teams.

"I see other clubs struggling with it now and of course there's Premier League protocols in place but once you leave the training ground you are in the outside world," Bruce said.

"The speed in which it ripped through us is something all football clubs will be looking at because it is difficult to contain and stop.

"We've seen first hand how it affects people - we've had two players who were very, very sick and one or two members of staff, one in particular nearly hospitalised.

"And no-one envisaged this new wave was going to be as powerful as it is.

"Financially it's right to play on, but for me - morally it's wrong. I understand people want to play a game of football but we are just as vulnerable as everyone else."

Football has not helped its own cause, however, with numerous cases of players breaching COVID-19 guidelines in their free time.

Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy staged a New Year's Eve party, as did Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic.

But Bruce wants players to be cut some slack, "Lets be fair, when we are in football we are socialising," the Toon boss said.

"We may be taking all the protocols the right way and doing everything possible but how do you stop Manchester City from celebrating the way they did the other night?

"They were all in a huddle, celebrating, sweating, exhaling badly. If you stop that, you stop the whole enjoyment of sport.

"All of us are suffering but we are the lucky ones providing an entertainment that people can tune into and watch.

"There will come a stage though where we will have to make a decision - let's hope there isn't further outbreaks in the next few weeks."

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