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National League manager hits back at league for continuing play amid coronavirus

Hartlepool United v Eastleigh - Vanarama National League

Eastleigh manager Ben Strevens during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Eastleigh at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Tuesday 7th January 2020. (Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Eastleigh manager, Ben Strevens, was unafraid to call out the National League for moving forward with schedule matches amid the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday.

Streven’s side fell 4-0 to Notts County in front of a crowd of 4,942 at Meadow Lane. With the Premier League and the EFL suspended, the match between both non-league sides unwittingly became the top-flight bout in England.

The reason National League games went ahead and the EFL games didn’t go ahead and the Premier League games didn’t go ahead is because whoever sits on the board of the National League cared about money,” he said. “Simple as that.”

“For the well-being of the spectators and it’s not only players because they’re young, fit athletes,” he added. “It’s nothing to do with that. There’s no way whatsoever these games should have been played. If the EFL are not playing them and if the Premier League are not playing them, then the National League shouldn’t be playing them.

Contrastingly, National League chief executive Michael Tattersall, who responded to Strevens, made no indications that the National League will rethink how they’ll move forward following this weekend’s action: “It’s not really a time for having an argument, it’s a time for reflecting on what’s happening in our society,” he said.

“We’re going to put out our own statement thanking everybody for their efforts today and sending everybody who is suffering from the virus or self-isolating all our best wishes.”

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