Watford captain Troy Deeney refused to return to training and explained his personal reasons including the unresolved problems concerning BAME players and his young son ‘s worries.
From Tuesday the agreement between the 20 Premier League teams will see small group training back on the agenda, with more meetings planned for May 26 to discuss contact training.
Plans to stay at home had failed to receive the assurances he had been seeking, suggested Deeney.
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?’.”
Deeney isn’t just worried about himself. Expanding on his previous unwillingness to get back to work, he said, “It only takes one person to get infected. I don’t want to carry it home — my son is five months old and he’s had trouble breathing.”
“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.”