Any return to playing top-level football while coronavirus remains an issue “will be awkward” because the game is contact sport, Hertha Berlin’s Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou has said.
A number of players have been sharing their thoughts regarding the resumption of football in Europe as the leagues begin to plot their return to action behind closed doors.
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has said that “the majority of players are scared because they have children and families.”
Kalou told BBC Sport Africa, “I’m not afraid, but I think it will be a little bit awkward that we’re going to play and not have contact with other teams, because you’ve got to.
“How are you going to play against opponents and expect to win a big game when you barely create contact with the game?
“Football is a sport of contact. You’ve got to have contact. So I’m very curious to see what the rules will be when it comes to playing the game again.”
There had been discussions about the German Bundesliga, in which Kalou plays, returning on 9 May but that date has now been postponed.
There were nine games left when the league was suspended.
Sports across the world are attempting to work out how and when they might safely resume, although in the vast majority of cases this will be behind closed doors.
Kalou, who played in the Premier League with Chelsea between 2006 and 2012, said that “health is the most important thing” for footballers.
“We can only enjoy this game and play the best if we are in good shape and healthy. So hopefully I know they’ll take all the measures to be safe and to be back and play the game again.
“I don’t know how they are going to manage that because you’ve got to travel to play, you’ve got to be at the hotel for away games. I’m looking forward to seeing it, because I’m very curious. I’m very curious of how we are going to manage that.”
Kalou also explained how Hertha Berlin have been managing social distancing in training sessions since they resumed, with 24 players on the training pitch divided into three eight-player groups.
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“We try to keep the distance. But you know as they say, football is a sport of contact, so I don’t know how long we are going to manage like that, because at the end of the day, you’ve got to have some contact, you’ve got to create some contact if you want to play football.”
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