Coronavirus: Sunderland players banned from travelling abroad during break

Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson's Sunderland have a weekend break where they should have played defunct Bury

Sunderland players have been told not to travel abroad during a forthcoming break as a precaution against coronavirus, says boss Phil Parkinson.

The Wearsiders are without a game over the 21-22 March weekend, when a match with now-defunct Bury should have been played, giving the players a break.

"It's important we give ourselves every chance of keeping that virus away," Parkinson told BBC Look North.

"We said to the lads they can't go abroad, some wanted to go away."

Parkinson's side are fifth in League One, four points behind the automatic promotion places with 12 games remaining.

Clubs have previously used their rest weekends to travel abroad for warm-weather training camps in Dubai and the Canary Islands.

"We don't think it's wise for anyone to go abroad, and the players understand that," Parkinson added.

Coronavirus concerns have already led to the postponement of major events such as England's Six Nations match against Italy, the Rome marathon and all sporting events in Italy.

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