Watford captain Troy Deeney has outlined his personal reasons for refusing to return to resume training – including concerns over his young son and unanswered issues around BAME players.
An agreement between the 20 Premier League teams will see small group training back on the agenda from Tuesday, with a further discussion scheduled for 26 May to debate contact training.
Deeney suggested he plans to stay at home, having failed to receive the reassurances he had been seeking.
Speaking to Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellew on their Talk the Talk YouTube show, the Hornets strikers said: “We’re due back this week. I’ve said I’m not going.
“Within the meeting, I asked very simple questions. For Black, Asian and mixed ethnicities they are four times more likely to get the illness and twice as likely to have a long-lasting illness: Is there any additional screening? Heart stuff to see if anyone has a problem?
“I feel that should be addressed. I can’t get a haircut until mid-July but I can go and get in a box with 19 people and jump for a header? I don’t know how that works. No one could answer the questions – not because they didn’t want to, because they didn’t have the information.
“I just said ‘If you don’t know the information, why would I put myself at risk?’.”
It is not just his own well-being that Deeney is concerned with. Expanding on his previous reticence about getting back to work, he added: “It only takes one person to get infected. I don’t want to bring that home – my son is five months old and he’s had breathing difficulties.
“I don’t want to come home and put him in more danger. You’ve got to drive back in the same dirty kit – if I’m putting my clothes in with my son’s clothing or my missus’ clothing it’s more likely to be in and around the house.
“I’ve lost my Dad, my Gran, my Grandad…I’ve lost more or less everyone that I care about. So that, to me, is more important than a few quid in my back pocket.”