While many fans await a potential summer return for the Premier League, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard isn't in favor of testing players for COVID-19 if that means taking tests away from frontline health workers. Lampard also said the sport needs to "take its place," stressing the importance of other aspects of life in relation to soccer.
"The health and safety of players and staff is huge," Lampard told BT Sport. "We play a contact sport we're all desperate to see -- it's a form of escapism, to watch football, play and train -- but how are we not going to put the players at risk within that?
"The other issue is testing. We will probably have a minimum of 70 or 80 staff at Cobham [training ground] if we're going to restart training. It's right that we test regularly, but when we're looking around the world... I think it's important for football to take its place. I don't know the testing numbers for National Health Service [NHS] and care workers, people who are doing these incredible jobs over the last two months. I don't think it would sit well, not just with me, but with anybody, if we didn't make sure that people who are in that frontline are getting tested."
Lampard certainly sees how important things are outside of sports. In March, Chelsea made the hotel at Stamford Bridge available to NHS staff, who were fighting the battle against the virus.
Whether the Premier League completes its 2019-20 season or not remains to be seen, but the government's approval will be needed first. The league has said it plans to finish out the season with a potential decision coming Friday. From there, similar to the Bundesliga, players and staff would need to be regularly tested if they are to have any hope of returning to the pitch safely.
The Premier League has 92 games remaining on the schedule and is looking toto complete the season.