Portsmouth chief's fears for football with EFL programme decimated as Sunderland, Ipswich Town, Doncaster, Hull City and Co feel coronavirus pain

Mark Catlin believes football faces continuing chaos until the impact of a coronavirus vaccine is felt.

Wednesday, 30th December 2020, 10:04 am

And that paves the way for a moral dilemma over whether players should be prioritised to receive Covid-19 immunity to keep the season going.

The impact of the virus is intensifying with positive cases putting paid to fixtures and calls growing for a circuit-breaker to be rolled out in the game.

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Tuesday’s League One programme was decimated by outbreaks at clubs with over half the division’s fixtures called off, after seven clubs were impacted.

The Premier League clash between Manchester City and Everton was also called off on Monday, with City affected by positive tests.

Questions are now being asked about the way forward for the game, as the nation waits for an immunisation programme to be rolled out and the University of Oxford vaccine the latest to be approved for use.

Much has been made of the impact of football in lifting the mood of the nation throughout the pandemic on the road towards normality.

The EFL fixture schedule is being decimated by coronavirus

Catlin noted he doesn’t possess any definitive answers but can see issues which will need tackling by key decision makers with regard to the game.

The Pompey CEO said: ‘I don’t see any true light at the end of the tunnel until the vaccine starts having an effect.

‘I know this opens up a huge moral issue, similar to the tests where clubs and our governing bodies are paying for the tests privately, whether morally it would be right to vaccinate players privately.

‘I just don’t know or have the answers to that and I don’t think anyone does at this moment in time.

‘It’s not just in football we need to consider the answers. It’s in politics for MPs and what’s done for front-line workers.

‘There’s a question for a whole host of industries. If they have the finances to vaccinate their key staff, I’m sure the question will come in certain industries.

‘Is that the right moral thing to do or not?

‘I’m not the moral compass for society, but it’s just a question I can see being thrown out there.’

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