Ogbonna: EPL was 'almost waiting for someone to die' before acting on COVID-19
Arfa Griffiths / West Ham United FC / Getty

West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna has slammed the Premier League for its slow response to the spreading coronavirus, suggesting it didn't take the issue seriously.

"It was almost as if they wanted to ignore such a serious problem ... (or) almost waiting for someone to die before taking action," Ogbonna told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, according to The Guardian.

"It's not just football, but this problem is ingrained in the English mentality. They still don't realize the danger of a virus that can be passed on in seconds. I haven't been tested or checked in any way. (There is) an attitude that is superficial, at the very least."

Ogbonna criticized the Premier League after it made a dramatic U-turn and suspended its season. The league was ready to stage weekend fixtures as planned until it learned Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had tested positive for COVID-19. Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi was diagnosed with the coronavirus hours later.

Ogbonna, 31, said the Premier League should've postponed matches earlier. West Ham played and lost to Arsenal on March 7, potentially exposing Ogbonna and his teammates to the virus. West Ham manager David Moyes is in self-isolation as a precautionary measure after coming into direct contact with Arteta.

"It's completely unacceptable," the Italian center-back continued. "They had just played against Olympiacos (in the Europa League), whose president tested positive for the coronavirus."

Four of Ogbonna's countrymen have tested positive in recent days. Juventus defender Daniele Rugani was the first player in Serie A to be diagnosed with COVID-19. Sampdoria striker Manolo Gabbiadini, who played in the Premier League with Southampton, Fiorentina frontman Patrick Cutrone, who was recently signed from Wolves, and former Italian Under-21 player Antonio La Gumina also have the coronavirus.

Ogbonna: EPL was 'almost waiting for someone to die' before acting on COVID-19
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