Paul Merson reveals why Kante shouldn’t be punished

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The phase one of Premier League’s training has resumed, and the Project Restart is aiming for the league to resume in June.

Not every Premier League player is keen to return to play as the coronavirus pandemic still wages on.

Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, took part in Tuesday’s training, but was surprisingly absent from training on Wednesday, as he chose to train at home.

Watford captain Troy Deeney has also refused to take part in the team’s training and has blasted the FA’s decision to resume football at a time like this.

There have been calls for players who don’t return to be sanctioned, but football pundit Paul Merson is against that.

In his column for the Daily Star, Merson wrote: “Don’t punish Troy Deeney or N’Golo Kante for refusing to train. If I was them, I wouldn’t want to either.

“I’ve heard people say players who don’t train or play should get fined but that would be very wrong in my opinion.

“It’s like with parents making the tough decision on whether to send their kids back to school. It’s got to be a personal choice.

“People say footballers are on hundreds of thousands a week, they should do as they’re told.

“But they’re human beings. This is your health. Your family. You have to weigh these things up. No-one can make that decision for you.

“I’ve even seen people have a go at Troy, and try to make out he’s only refusing to come back because he doesn’t want Watford to go down and wants the season voided.

“But that’s ridiculous. You can’t listen to people like that. I’d like to see any of those people go up to Troy and tell him that!

“It’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and have a go but not so easy in person…

“It doesn’t even come into my mind that he’s got some kind of ulterior motive.

“Troy’s been talking about his young son, who has breathing difficulties, and that BAME players are at more risk, and it’s a no-brainer for him in my opinion.

“Kante will have seen those figures about how the virus affects the BAME community as well. It doesn’t surprise me they don’t want to come back.

“You’ve got to respect their decision.”

About the Author

Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.