Chelsea’s Willian admits coronavirus fears even if football returns behind closed doors

Willian says he is worried about returning to the football pitch with Chelsea, even behind closed doors, due to the risk of catching the coronavirus.

The Brazil international says he fears endangering his family by returning too soon, despite games set to be played without fans in stadiums.

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Following a meeting between clubs on Friday, the Premier League has said football will only return with the full support of the government.

Medical protocols were discussed, as Premier League clubs united in wanting the season to be completed.

All players, coaches and match officials would need to be tested before games could be played behind closed doors.

Willian said: “I think it’s not a bad idea (to return behind closed doors) but they have to know very carefully what’s going to happen.

“Maybe a player can have the virus and we play against each other. I play against someone and I get the virus then I go home after the game to stay with my family and pass the virus to my wife or daughters.

“So we have to be careful about that.”

Willian admitted he was concerned, as was the rest of the Chelsea squad, after it was announced that Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for COVID-19.

Chelsea’s playing and coaching staff had to self-isolate for 14 days before Willian was allowed to return to Brazil to be with his family.

“Yes, I think not only me, but the whole team was worried about that,” Willian added.

“Because he (Callum Hudson-Odoi) was at the game against Everton and went to the dressing room, we shook hands and hugged each other.

“So after that, when he tested positive for the coronavirus, I think everyone was worried about it. But none of us felt any symptoms after that.

“So everyone is healthy, nobody had a problem after that game and week. That was good.”

Willian is one of 57 Premier League players who can leave their clubs on July 1.

The 31-year-old’s contract with Chelsea ends on June 30 and he has previously said an extension was unlikely.

The Brazilian, though, says he will not walk away from the club at the end of his deal and will play until the end of the season.

“Of course, I want to give everything for Chelsea until the end like I always have done,” Willian said.

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