Pep Guardiola doesn’t want March international break to go on

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Pep Guardiola wishes that the Premier League and other major leagues across Europe could prevent players from traveling during the international break in March.

The coach of Manchester City had one of the toughest managerial experiences in his coaching career after the November international break in 2020. Some of his players contracted the dreaded coronavirus and the Premier League started recording massive coronavirus cases two weeks after the break.

After the international break, the number of confirmed cases of the virus increased from 10 to 14 and then jumped as high as 36 confirmed cases within the Premier League alone.

The high number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Premier League affected Manchester City, Aston Villa, and Fulham heavily that the clubs had to close their training camps and their league matches were postponed.

In the case of Manchester City, their Premier League match against Everton which was earlier scheduled to take place on December 28 had to be postponed 4 hours before kick-off due to the virus in Manchester City’s squad.

The league match has been rescheduled to take place today, February 17 at Goodison Park. The kick-off time for the rescheduled Premier League game is 21:15.

During the pre-match press conference, Pep Guardiola noted that the situation that happened after the November international break might repeat itself after the international break in March.

He said the fact that the Premier League recorded just two confirmed cases of coronavirus in the last two rounds of testing was proof that the more people avoid traveling, the lesser people will contract the virus.

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola.
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola.

Some of the prominent Premier League players that contracted coronavirus while on national assignment in November include Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac, Mohamed Elneny, and Tottenham’s Matt Doherty.

“I think the Premier League should be concerned about this, all the leagues”, Pep Guardiola said ahead of the Manchester City match against Everton.

“I know the national federations need to play for qualification, for friendlies, and preparation for the European Championships in the summertime. This is normal.

“But the reason why there were a lot of cases in the Premier League and now there are barely any cases is that the people don’t move. Home-training center, training center-home. Home-game, game-home.

“The moment you take planes and move places, I don’t know, everything can happen. But I don’t know, we didn’t get a letter about this…

“It’s difficult enough to control it, so I think something is going to rise, unfortunately. I would love to say, or guess, it’s not going to happen, but from experience, it happened in two or three waves worldwide, so if you move you take a risk to get the virus again.

“What we have to do is follow the protocols. The scientists and doctors, what they say is best. I’m not a doctor, fortunately for the patients, so I cannot say anything.

“But what I would say, in my humble opinion, we should be careful until the summertime, when we finish the season. As much as we can control would better.”