‘You’re still twice as likely to die’: Jobi McAnuff expresses concerns over black footballers playing during coronavirus pandemic as Premier League officials push Project RestartJobi McAnuff fears safety of black players will be at risk when football returnsA study shows black men and women are twice as likely to die from coronavirusAt least one third of Premier League footballers are from minority ethnic groupsHere’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff fears the resumption of the football season will put fellow black athletes at an increased risk of contracting coronavirus.

Research conducted by the Office for National Statistics suggests black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die with from the virus as white people in England and Wales. 

The study is thought to show inequality persists even when age, deprivation, prior health and location are taken into account. 

Leyton Orient star Jobi McAnuff fears black players will not be protected when football returns

The 38-year-old midfielder spoke to Sky Sports News about the threat of coronavirus

Now McAnuff, who has represented nine football league clubs during a career spanning three decades, is concerned black players will not be protected when football returns.

He told Sky Sports: ‘When you look at the social and economic factors, a lot of Premier League footballers probably won’t be in that category in terms of where they’re living and the other things that can affect those numbers.

‘Even taking those things away, in other studies you’re still twice as likely to die.

‘You look at the make-up and the total number of players in the Premier League, the last time I saw, you’re looking at 35 (per cent), probably higher, that is a large percentage of people who are at a higher risk, should they catch Covid-19.’ 

Premier League figures show at least one third of Premier League players have minority ethnic backgrounds. Research suggests black people are more likely to die from coronavirus

On the first day of the 2017-18 season, FA figures show 33 per cent of starting top flight players came from BAME backgrounds, rising from 16.5 per cent in the 1992-93 campaign.   

There have been over 31,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the UK and Leagues One and Two appear to be edging closer to cancelling all remaining fixtures, determining final standings using a weighted points-per-game model. 

Meanwhile, Premier League and Championship officials are determined to fulfill remaining fixtures behind closed door, with some clubs proposing to play matches at neutral grounds to limit the spread of the virus.

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