Man City take on Spurs on Saturday following a break due to international football

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Pep Guardiola has suggested English football should wait until a Covid-19 vaccine is in operation before permitting fans back into stadiums.

The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, suggested this week that there was a chance supporters could return to grounds before Christmas after advancements in rapid testing.

But Guardiola is wary about such a scenario with infection rates still high and a vaccine not yet in circulation. 

“I want to listen to science, the doctors – not politicians,” said the Manchester City manager, whose mother, Dolors Sala Carrio, died from coronavirus in April.

“We want the people back to the stadiums, of course. People are dying all around the world, a lot of people.

“Until the vaccine is not here and secure … I don’t know if I want to risk it, to put more people there and contaminate.

“We saw the statistics here in the UK and it’s rising every day. I’d follow like us to follow what the science is saying. They will know exactly what we have to do.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Manchester United manager, said he would welcome the return of fans but that it was imperative to get the infection rate down. United have been lobbying the government for the safe return of supporters.

“It’s welcome news for the players and the clubs, of course, but the biggest plus is for fans that they could come and watch the games again,” Solskjaer said.

“Because watching it on TV, not getting that close contact and connection with players you admire and adore, you’re a fan of a club for a reason and you love the players.

“So hopefully we can get back to that but it’s up to the government and society in general that we can get the infection rate down because it’s a serious issue.”