Global players’ union FIFPro’s Secretary-general Jonas Baer-Hoffmann has backed players who are refusing to train due to concerns over coronavirus and warned that it would be “inhumane and unacceptable” if they were to be punished for taking such a stance.

Baer-Hoffmann Jonas Baer-Hoffmann’s comments came after Troy Deeney of English Premier League side Watford refused to restart training on Wednesday. The Hornets captain says he fears putting his baby son in danger by contracting the virus.

Three people at the club tested positive for the disease following tests conducted on Sunday and Monday ahead of the training restart.

The FIFPro chief told reporters via a conference call on Wednesday: “Deeney is a player who has very legitimate concerns and wants to protect his family.

“If these players are being pressured or potentially facing disciplinary actions, we feel that is very much unacceptable.

“The idea that somebody may be punished in a pandemic for trying to protect his family’s health is inhumane and unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, there is no suggestion that Watford are planning to take disciplinary action against Deeney.

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