Diogo Jota: Wolves forward believes Premier League will be completed

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Wolves and Portugal forward Diogo Jota believes the Premier League will be completed despite the cancellation of some other European leagues because of coronavirus.

The Dutch Eredivisie season was abandoned on Friday and Belgium’s top flight is set to follow suit.

But the UK government is setting up meetings in a bid to help elite sport resume as quickly as possible.

“I believe the Premier League can finish,” Jota told BBC Sport.

The 23-year-old, who beat Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold to win the ePremier League Invitational Fifa 20 tournament on Saturday, added: “We don’t need to look to other countries. Each country has its own problems and has to deal with them individually.

“Although some leagues can end right away, others can start sooner. I know almost every country in the world has the Premier League as one of the leagues to watch so it is major that we can finish the season.

“Obviously health is first and when everything is ready to go we can finish the season.”

 

‘We need to stay fit, we need to be ready’

Wolves played their last match on 12 March, securing a 1-1 away draw against Greek side Olympiakos behind closed doors in the Europa League.

Jota says that was a game they “maybe shouldn’t have played” as concerns grew over coronavirus, but his focus now is on keeping fit after more than six weeks away from the pitch.

“The target is to stay at home as much as possible and try to stay fit because we know the competition can start and we need to be ready,” he added.

“When it starts, it will be like a pre-season for the players because when you don’t play it’s impossible to be as fit as you were. Anything can happen because it will be like a new season.”

The Premier League could resume behind closed doors and is considering showing some fixtures free-to-air if this happens.

Jota says that fans are “what makes football special”, but admits it is better to play in an empty stadium than not at all.

“If it is we don’t finish the season or we finish the season behind closed doors, obviously we finish the season behind closed doors but everyone wants the fans in the stadium,” he explained.

“Maybe we need to go step by step and the first step is to play behind closed doors.”

 

Fifa tournament ‘a great idea’

Along with keeping fit so he is ready if football resumes, Jota has been busy competing in the ePremier League Invitational Fifa 20 tournament.

He beat Alexander-Arnold with a golden goal in Saturday’s final, a match the Portugal international described as “very tense”.

Jota says his Fifa success is partly down to using set-pieces he would play in real life on the video game and hailed the tournament as “a great idea”.

“Trent Alexander-Arnold was a very good competitor,” he added.

“I needed to be very focussed because one mistake would cost me the tournament.

“We were playing for a good cause, to help the NHS, and give the fans something to watch. It’s sad for everyone this period we are living and we need to keep the fans busy.

“This was a great idea. To be crowned champion makes everything even better.”

 

 

BBC

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