Chelsea boss Frank Lampard ‘optimistic’ about having fans return to stadiums before Christmas after Oliver Dowden’s talkSPORT interview
Nov. 20, 2020
Frank Lampard is ‘optimistic’ about fans returning to stadiums in the UK before Christmas.
The Chelsea boss was reacting to talkSPORT’s interview with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden on Thursday .
Supporters have not been able to attend football matches in full capacity since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Asked about the possibility of fans returning before Christmas, Dowden said: “There is definitely a chance [of that happening].
“Obviously in all of this we have to be guided by scientific evidence.
“We’re in close discussions with the centre of government about what we could do as we go back into the tiering system to see whether there’s a possibility in the lower risk areas.
“If we can just open the door ajar a little bit and start to prove in the lower risk areas that we can make this work then I’d love for us to be able to do that.”
talkSPORT’s Ian ‘The Moose’ Abrahams asked Lampard about Dowden’s comments and the former England midfielder replied: “I am optimistic having heard him speak.
“I think it’s something where the government haven’t been vocal enough on for whatever reason.
“We as a public and in the sport want to know whether it’s positive or negative. Today is the most positive answer I’ve heard from the government.
“It wasn’t factual and I understand why not because it has to be safe first and foremost before we can have fans back in the stadiums.
“But when you see other areas of life at the moment where we are having gatherings that are controlled and safe environments then, of course, we have to look at it and try to get it back as quickly as we can.
“So I’m positive, I thought it was a very good interview. I appreciated listening to his words and let’s hope they’re acted upon and it’s safe to have fans back.”
Chelsea host Newcastle in the first Premier League game back since the international break on Saturday, which you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT from 12.30pm.
Christian Pulisic is still sidelined with a hamstring injury, while Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva are doubts.
Lampard said: “Havertz is back, his isolation [from coronavirus] is over and he has tested negative so he’s training individually to get his fitness back.
“Thiago Silva has just landed. He probably won’t go to Newcastle because of the length of the journey and the timings.
“We are still waiting on some Covid testing. Unfortunately some [players] are arriving back this afternoon, so with the 12.30pm kick-off, it brings a lot of challenges.”