The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Defoe: Game is not important in this crisis

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Rangers striker Jermain Defoe insists football has to take a back seat as Scotland deals with the pandemic.

The game has been suspended since March 13 due to the health crisis, with no firm date set for its return.

And at 37 years of age, Defoe knows time is not on his side with regard to the rest of his career but he stressed that football has become unimportan­t amid a rising death tally due to the virus.

“To be honest, there are more important things happening in the world than football,” he said.

“People are dying every day, which is such a sad thing. It puts things into perspectiv­e and you think, you know what, football is not important at all at this moment in time.

“The most important thing is the people who are actually suffering and the families that are losing loved ones.

“Of course we are all missing the beautiful game. I am missing the Rangers fans and my team-mates and hopefully we will be back playing soon.”

Defoe who has played for West Ham, Tottenham and Sunderland among others, also winning 57 England caps, claims Rangers have “done wonders” in keeping the squad ticking over in terms of their fitness regimes during extraordin­ary circumstan­ces.

He said: “Luckily enough we have a group chat and it is quite funny. We all stick together on that. We have banter and good chat as you can imagine.

“The club have done wonders to be honest.

“The sport science is on another level. Jordan Milsom is unbelievab­le. He was at Liverpool with the manager.

“We have an app where all the players have individual programmes and everything goes back to the sports science team so they know what exactly what we are doing. I have my programme on my phone.

“I know what days I need to work, recover, what I need to do in terms of strength because I had that injury on my calf, what I need to eat on certain days. It is unbelievab­le.”

People around the United Kingdom on Thursday night took part in a “clap for carers” tribute to the NHS and care workers dealing with the pandemic and a grateful Defoe sent his own message.

 ??  ?? Jermain Defoe: Beautiful game is on backburner
Jermain Defoe: Beautiful game is on backburner

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