Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola joked he will come back “fatter” from a long layoff from football as he urged supporters to follow the advice of scientists and medical professionals on Monday.
Guardiola, who donated one million euros ($1.08 million) to help buy medical supplies for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in his native Spain last week, posted a video message as part of the English champions’ “Cityzens At Home” campaign to keep fans entertained.
Football in England has been suspended until at least April 30 as part of tight restrictions on personal freedoms to try and halt the spread of Covid-19.
“We miss football. We miss the life that we had a few days ago but now is the time to listen, to follow our scientists, doctors and nurses,” said Guardiola.
“You are my football family and we are going to do everything possible to make you feel better.
“We’ll come back from this stronger, better, kinder and a little bit fatter. Stay inside, stay safe.”
To try and prevent supporters’ piling on the pounds, City players’ favourite recipes have been posted online to promote healthy eating.
City will provide daily skills challenges and downloadable colouring sets to keep children occupied, while mindfulness classes will be provided to help deal with the mental health issues posed by long periods of social distancing.