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'Football has no priority right now' - Chelsea defender Rudiger focused on slowing coronavirus spread

13:43 GMT+3 24/03/2020
Antonio Rudiger Chelsea 2019-20
The Germany international is more concerned about the health of the general public than whether or not the current Premier League season resumes

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has insisted that "football has no priority right now" amid the ongoing efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The 2019-20 campaign has been postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 crisis, with 386,406 cases recorded worldwide to date and 16,747 deaths.

The Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A have all shut down until April, and all European competitions have followed suit.

In a bid to make sure the club season is completed at some point over the summer, UEFA has also confirmed that Euro 2020 has been pushed back a year, but at the moment there are no guarantees as to when the sporting calendar will resume.

Rudiger is currently self-isolating along with the rest of the Chelsea squad, who were kept away from the club's training facility after Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus on March 13.

The Germany international insists that getting back on the pitch is far less important to him than seeing the infection rate around the globe drop as soon as possible.

"My biggest wish right now is that today's new infection numbers are again lower than yesterday's. But not that the Premier League immediately resumes," Rudiger told Kicker.

"Football has no priority right now. It's only about slowing down the spread of the virus."

A number of Premier League clubs are now awaiting a final decision on whether the season will continue, with Liverpool just two wins away from a first domestic crown in 30 years and Chelsea among those vying for a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.

There have been calls for the campaign to be voided completely in the event the coronavirus pandemic carries on through to autumn, while others have suggested that the current league positions should be set in stone.

Rudiger believes it is still far too early to make a final decision, and that adhering to the protocols put in place by government officials is essential in limiting the effects of Covid-19.

"We will see where we are with the number of infections by mid or late April. And then we'll have a better position to make a decision. And it won't be possible to make a decision which satisfies all sides," the Chelsea centre-back added.

"If it's about the health of each and every one we will understand it and comply with it."