CHELSEA boss Emma Hayes has announced that she was one of the club’s members who had coronavirus just before Christmas.
The Super League champions’ game against Tottenham, scheduled for December 20, has been postponed after some positive tests for Covid-19 were returned at the Chelsea warehouse.
Hayes, whose side got back into action after the winter break with a 5-0 win against Reading last weekend, and hosts Manchester United tomorrow, said of the virus: “I was fine. I was lucky, I was fine.
“I’m grateful and hope it doesn’t come and bite my butt at another point.
“I was sick of running away from Covid to be honest. When I got it, I was like, ‘OK, now it’s here. I will do everything I can to hopefully not wipe me out and not affect my parents and everyone else. ‘
“So I had an isolated Christmas, and that’s the least I can do to make sure nobody else gets it.”
Chelsea’s win at Reading was the only WSL game that took place last weekend.
Games postponed included Manchester City’s home game against West Ham after four positive cases of coronavirus “and a number of other mitigating factors affecting the City squad”.
It is believed that these four City players traveled to Dubai around Christmas with the club’s permission.
Arsenal’s game at Aston Villa has been postponed as several Arsenal players isolated after testing positive for one.
This player was one of the three members of the squad who had also traveled to Dubai around Christmas.
On Thursday, the Football Association, the Premier League, the English Football League and the WSL released a joint statement expressing their confidence that their tightened coronavirus protocols would allow them to end the season and stressing that “Security is a collective effort”.
Hayes said Wednesday there had been “a really good league visit with all the clubs about the importance of our responsibility to meet fixtures,” which included talks about the use of academy players.
She added: “I think our responsibility is to complete the league and hopefully everyone’s cooperation will make it happen.”
When asked if it is even more important to set an example in light of the recent criticism of women’s football, Hayes said, “I don’t think we should focus on being women’s football.
“The decisions we make – we need to be even more careful that they affect not only your family, your friends, but also your team, and if not your team, the opposition and if not the opposition, then the league.
“We have a responsibility – but we are also people. And I think we need to realize that large chunks of the women’s game did the right things at the right time. “
Hayes was also asked if exercise plays an important role in providing light in difficult times and she said, “So much – that’s why I think don’t butcher us either. Because I think sometimes we’re in an almost impossible situation.
“We put our lives at risk to get to work and be exposed in team environments. And even though all safety precautions are in place, we know that we all have players and staff in our group who are afraid to come to work. That’s a fact. “