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The Italy international defender has slammed the response of government in Britain in relation to the Covid-19 epidemic.

West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna has been highly critical of the way the coronavirus crisis was managed in England.

Having watched tragic events unfold in his homeland of Italy, where there were over 17,000 cases of the virus, the 31-year-old was shocked about how slow the answer was to the catastrophe from authorities.

Soccer was suspended as of Friday, with the Premier League not due to restart until the first weekend of April at the earliest.

Ogbonna, however, says that the response took much too long.

“I’m relieved and happy that everything has been suspended, including the minor leagues. It was almost as though they wanted to dismiss such a significant problem,” he told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

“It’s not only football, but this challenge is ingrained in the English mentality. They still do not realise the threat of a virus which could be given in seconds if you do not behave in the correct way.”

Ogbonna was especially angered at the decision to let last Saturday’s fixture against Arsenal to proceed.

“It is totally unacceptable that the Arsenal match against us was allowed to proceed.

“It is almost as though they were waiting for someone to die before taking action.”

He added:”I have not been tested or assessed over in any manner. That is just another testament to an attitude that’s at the very least shallow”

Italy’s minister of sport Vincenzo Spadafora admitted on Friday that he regrets Serie A was permitted to go on for so long before all games were postponed last weekend.

“Soccer is a world in itself: there was a time when the Lega Serie A did not need to take responsibility as it should have done,” he told Radio 1 .

“We’d have preferred to have ceased the league earlier, but better late than never.

“Many teams these days are giving gifts for the emergency and we’re happy, they are expressions of solidarity that we love.

“We can stop the controversy because the area of sport has to lead by example.”