Former Premier League star Robbie Savage asked when young footballers would be allowed to play again when he made a surprise appearance at the daily Downing Street press conference today.
The 45-year-old former Leicester and Wales ace pointed out the mental health benefits that base juniors could at least receive coaching during the coronavirus lockout.
Savage, a combative midfielder turned media expert, opposed the rules for footballers to those with middle class activities like golf and tennis, who were allowed to restart.
He asked if “we will have to wait for a vaccine” before park football and other unprofessional games get under way.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who chaired the press conference, replied, “I really hope we don’t have to wait for a vaccine. “
But England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has suggested that members of the public may have to play soccer with rule changes until a vaccine is found.
He said at the briefing that having a large-scale vaccine before next year is “very unlikely,” adding, “So I certainly hope that football will be available – perhaps with some change in the way in which it is played, it may be necessary a few ways that we think about it – before a vaccine.
The 45-year-old former Leicester and Wales ace asked if “we will have to wait for a vaccine” before park football and other unprofessional games begin.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who chaired the press conference, replied, “I really hope we don’t have to wait for a vaccine.”
“My very strong hope, and I am sure it is a strong hope for everyone, is that football is (back) long before we reach this right side of this path. “
Mr. Savage was able to ask a question in his capacity as press columnist. He also added that he was a “grassroots coach”.
He asked, “This is mental health awareness week and we all know how important any sport is to contribute to the health of the mind and body.
‘Why, therefore, in guidelines issued by governing bodies, junior tennis players, golfers and athletes can receive individual training sessions, but young people who play working class football do not are currently not allowed to? ‘
Mr. Hancock replied, “For many people, the opportunity to play football is a huge and truly positive outcome. And the rules are there, of course they can go out and exercise, but I know that exercising alone or with members of your household has nothing to do with being able to play football .
So I understand, I understand why this is a problem. Unfortunately, these rules have to be in place for the general population, because we have to control this virus. “
But in the news that will bring relief to thousands of people, Professor Whitty added that “within the same household, kicking football is good.”
Mr. Savage made his mark as such a flamboyant midfielder for Leicester City in the 1990s and early 2000s
Since then, he has had a career as a football and television expert on radio.
This happened when Nicola Sturgeon unveiled his own “roadmap” today, with households to be allowed to mix in “small numbers” in their gardens starting next week.
The Prime Minister has said that Scotland can take the first prudent steps to ease draconian restrictions from May 28, suggesting that the release will go further than what has been implemented in England so far.
As long as the epidemic remains under control, outdoor exercise and some sports will be allowed, with people allowed to sit in the parks and sunbathe.
There would also be a green light for households meeting in their gardens, as long as only “in small numbers” and respecting the rules of social distancing – suggesting that barbecues may be back on the agenda.