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Roy Hodgson: Crystal Palace manager "in best possible place" amid coronavirus concerns

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Roy Hodgson signed a one-year contract extension on Friday which will keep him at Crystal Palace until 2021

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says he is “in the best possible place” amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

Responding to reports of a potential ban for over-70s at football matches, 72-year-old Hodgson added he does not have “any fears in that respect”.

Broadcasters and sports governing bodies will attend a government meeting on Monday to discuss the potential staging of events behind closed doors.

“Whatever decision is made you have to abide by,” said Hodgson.

The government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Premier League have advised caution over the suggestion that a ban for the over-70s may be on the agenda at Monday’s meeting.

Two people have died in Britain from the coronavirus so far and more than 160 people have tested positive, while the World Health Organisation has identified over-60s as the most vulnerable group.

“It is not something that concerns me much. I presume they are thinking that to protect us because, from what I have heard and read, it is the people who are older who are most at risk, but certainly I feel very healthy,” said Hodgson.

“We live in a democracy and we are all law-abiding citizens. I will worry about that when the time comes.”

Pre-match handshakes between teams and officials will not take place until further notice due to fears over the spread of coronavirus – and there is a growing expectation that Premier League matches may have to played behind closed doors.

Hodgson, who watched his side beat Watford 1-0 to record a third successive Premier League victory on Saturday, added: “What we are doing at the moment is to make sure we do our level best to respect the guidelines and things that could be done.

“The things we are doing at the club will keep me a lot healthier than the average guy, especially the average guy who spends a lot of his time on the tube every day.

“We have cleaners going around the training ground all the time, we have disinfected everything, we have hand wash everywhere, the players are no longer shaking hands or hugging so we are doing all the things that are there to be done. The final analysis will be in the hands of the government.”

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