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Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann insists the coronavirus is not a 'big concern' for footballers

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 12/05/2020 Matt Davies
Jens Lehmann wearing a red shirt © Provided by Evening Standard

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann believes the coronavirus is not a "big concern" for young, healthy athletes with a strong immune system.

The German revealed in April that he had caught and recovered from coronavirus and states we must learn to live with the disease until a vaccine is found.

The Bundesliga is to become the first major league to restart throughout the pandemic on Saturday and Lehmann insists the right decision has been made.

“In the end, you have to live with it, because the only thing that this lockdown is based on is the hope that eventually we are going to find a vaccine or some medicine which cures it. But there’s only hope,” Lehmann told beIN Sports.


“So far we don’t have anything. Because of that, you cannot shut down everything. So you have to get on with it.”

a group of football players on a field: Bundesliga clubs returned to training in April ahead of a restart in May (AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard Bundesliga clubs returned to training in April ahead of a restart in May (AFP via Getty Images)

He added: “As long as the symptoms are not that bad, I think players have to cope with it. We have plenty of players who were actually infected, and most of them did not even show any symptoms.

"So I think for young, healthy, people with a strong immune system it’s not such a big concern.”

While the Bundesliga is set for a return, the Premier League - although intending to resume - has not yet reached a definitive decision.

And while questions remain regarding a potential date, venues and the actual game format, a number of players have strongly voiced concerns regarding their well-being.

Tottenham defender Danny Rose - currently on loan at Newcastle - recently spoke of his outrage regarding the plans for a resumption, insisting football cannot be played while players are at risk.

Raheem Sterling has also stated it must be entirely safe for both players and staff before football can return.


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